19 May 2007 | markdelguado
A Cult Classic For The Ages
Adrian LeDuc lives in a world of his own. The actual setting is Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1988, just after the fall of the military junta. A place of unsettling confusion. Economic instability forces Adrian to sublet part of his elegant apartment. Tough thing to do for someone who's only social moments are with himself or with images on the screen of his movie theater. But he must and he does. A series of potential tenants parade the apartment, convincing Adrian that he will never be able to share his space with another human being, until HE arrives. Jack Carney with his movie star looks, his sensuality and his mystery will fit not just in Adrian's apartment but in his fantasies. "Apartment Zero" is one of those rare films that you can see many times and that, according to ones mood, it will deliver something different. I hadn't seen the film in years. Now on DVD, I was able to see it again from an entirely new angle. I had forgotten the humor, lots of it, outrageous and elegant. I had forgotten how frightening it is at moments and how brilliantly conceived from a psychological perspective. Colin Firth (Adrian) creates a unique film character. So complex and so true. The wanting without knowing. An all of that, at times, in amazing close ups where nobody can really hide. He should have been nominated for an Academy Award. Hart Bochner (Jack) is superb as the mysterious tenant that becomes paramount in Adian's life. The sexual tension could be cut with a knife and the brilliant thing about it is that it's all in our minds. The supporting characters are a stroke of genius. Not an excuse but a pivotal piece of the puzzle. Dora Bryan (A Taste Of Honey) and Liz Smith (A Private Function) are two British spinsters willingly caught in Jack Carney's web. I laughed out loud without ever relaxing completely. The sense of dread permeates every moment. Fabrizio Bentivoglio (Un Eroe Borghese) a single tenant with an emotional skeleton in his closet is not only impossibly good looking but brilliant in his unnerving ambiguity. So are the rest of the neighbors: the transsexual Vanessa (James Telfer) looking for the dark and craving for sex and love, the lonely wife, Mirella D'Angelo (Caligola) a Garboesque character of desperate longings. Their stories are compelling and contribute to the sense of dread. I'm sure I'll see it again some day and another layer will be discovered. Most highly recommend it to film buffs all over the world.