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The Oxford Murders (2008)

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At Oxford University, a professor and a grad student work together to try to stop a potential series of murders seemingly linked by mathematical symbols.

Director:

Álex de la Iglesia (as Alex de la Iglesia)

Writers:

Álex de la Iglesia (screenplay) (as Alex de la Iglesia), Jorge Guerricaechevarría (screenplay) (as Jorge Guerricachevarria) | 1 more credit »
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6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elijah Wood ... Martin
John Hurt ... Arthur Seldom
Leonor Watling ... Lorna
Julie Cox ... Beth
Jim Carter ... Inspector Petersen
Alex Cox ... Kalman
Burn Gorman ... Yuri Podorov
Dominique Pinon ... Frank
Anna Massey ... Mrs. Eagleton
Danny Sapani ... Scott
Alan David Alan David ... Mr. Higgins
Tim Wallers ... Defense Lawyer
James Weber Brown ... Doctor
Ian East Ian East ... Howard Green
Charlotte Asprey ... Howard Green's Wife
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Storyline

Martin (Elijah Wood), a PhD student in mathematics, enrolls at Oxford in the hope of meeting his mentor, Professor Arthur Seldom (Sir John Hurt). The young man manages to find lodging at Mrs. Eagleton's (Anna Massey's), but in this house, a stifling atmosphere prevails due to the landlady's attitude. Indeed Mrs. Eagleton, who happens to be a friend of Seldom's, is a haughty and unsympathetic woman who also stifles her daughter Beth (Julie Cox). At the university, things do not fare much better as Martin is put in his place by his idol during one of Seldom's lectures. But his private life changes for the best as he starts an affair with Lorna (Leonor Watling), a beautiful girl he met during a game of squash. One night, Seldom and Martin, who find themselves at Mrs. Eagleton's, discover her dead body. They are interrogated by the Police. Soon afterwards, they decide to lead their own private investigation. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content/nudity and some violence/disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Spain | UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los crímenes de Oxford See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "Bormat's Last Theorem" that is solved in the movie, is a reference to Fermat's Last Theorem. Like Bormat's theorem in the movie, Fermat's theorem was widely considered to be (one of) the most difficult problems of the last three hundred years. It was solved fairly recently (in 1995 by Andrew Wiles). It was solved using elliptic curves, and the proof was first demonstrated at Cambridge. Like the proof of Bormat's theorem in the movie, the proving of Fermat's was a very big deal in the world of number theory. See more »

Goofs

Bormat's Last Theorem should be Fermat's Last Theorem. It is very surprising since the script gives fairly accurate details of its proof down to the modular forms and elliptic curves. Further, it was solved by Andrew Wiles, not 'Henry Wilkins'. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Seldom: Of all the vast mountains of knowledge that as of yet you have not scaled, Martin, this slope is one of the most slippery. Be careful.
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Crazy Credits

The background to the credits sequence is a representation of a blackboard full of equations and mathematical formulae. See more »

Connections

References V for Vendetta (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The King of Denmark's Galiard
Written by John Dowland (uncredited)
Performed by The Forge Players featuring Freddie Wadling
Courtesy of Warner Music
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User Reviews

 
Great use of actual math and philosophical logic in an old-fashioned murder mystery
19 January 2011 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

An ambitious mathematics grad student in number theory, Martin (Elijah Wood), arrives in Oxford eager to work with famed Professor Seldom (John Hurt). The film refreshingly starts with a brief history of math and the philosophical stances of both characters on the subject. Then the first murder occurs, with of course the use of a symbol that begs the assistance of Professor Seldom and Martin in the police case.

"The Oxford Murders" is good because it uses actual math and consistent logic. One of their only deviations is the use of Bormat's Last Theorem instead of Fermat's Last Theorem but that is just to keep in line with its fictional characters. There were perhaps a few too many twists but it was well enough written that most of them probably could have been predicted.

It plays out exactly like an old-fashioned murder mystery and set in compelling Oxford University. Like old-fashioned murder mysteries, there is no violence or gore but has a liberal use of profanity and sexual nudity (but Wood and Leonor Watling are very attractive so that's not an issue). I enjoyed the use of math and logic in "The Oxford Murders" and will likely search out future films from the writers and director.


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