The Oxford Murders (film)

The Oxford Murders (film)

name = The Oxford Murders

caption = Promotional film poster
director = Álex de la Iglesia
writer = Jorge Guerricaechevarria (screenplay)
Álex de la Iglesia (screenplay)
Guillermo Martínez (novel)
starring = Elijah Wood
John Hurt
Leonor Watling
producer = Kevin Loader
Gerardo Herrero
Location = Oxford, England
distributor = Odeon Sky Filmworks, Tornasol Films
budget = $14.1 million
release date = 18 January 2008
runtime =
country = flagicon|United KingdomUK
language = English
imdb_id = 0488604|

"The Oxford Murders" is a 2008 thriller film adapted from an award-winning novel of the same name by the Argentine mathematician and writer Guillermo Martínez, directed by Álex de la Iglesia and starring Elijah Wood, John Hurt and Leonor Watling.


November 1993. Wood plays Martin, an American student at the University of Oxford who wants Arthur Seldom (Hurt) as his thesis director.In a public lecture, Seldom quotes Wittgenstein's "Tractatus" to deny the possibility of truth.Martin contests asserting his faith in the mathematics under reality.Later, Martin and Seldom coincide and find Martin's landlady (also a friend of Seldom's) murdered.Seldom declares to the police that he had received a note with his friend's address marked as "the first of a series".As Seldom is an authority on logical series, he suspects that a serial murderer is defying his intelligence.Martin, Seldom and Lorna (Leonor Watling), a Spanish nurse, will try to guess the following terms of the series as murders continue.

Mathematical and philosophical references

The characters debate several mathematical and philosophical concepts such as logical series, Heisenberg's Principle of Uncertainty, Gödel's Theorem, circles, the Vesica Piscis, the possibility of perfect crime, "Fermat"'s Last Theorem and its proof by "Professor Wiles", the Taniyama conjecture, the tetraktys and the Pythagoreans.


The film is a Spanish-French-British production directed by Spanish Álex de la Iglesia. Before the confirmation of the presence of the actor Elijah Wood in the film, the Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal had been considered for the role of the mathematics student. There were some weeks of speculation on who would play the lead. On 26 December 2006 Tornasol Films announced that Wood was cast in the lead role. The director Alex de la Iglesia commented that he convinced Wood to accept the role for the script. De la Iglesia also praised Wood: “"I'm delighted to work with Elijah, who undoubtedly has the most powerful eyes in the industry and who is perfect for the part"”.

The British actor John Hurt was cast in the role of a professor of the University, who is a fan by the detective work and goes to help the young student in his quest to try to stop a series of murders. The actor Michael Caine had been considered for the this role.De la Iglesia has described daily in his blog the peculiar situations that happen during the production of the film. The film is his first foray outside his typical black comedy genre into more dramatic fare. [ [ De la Iglesia inicia el rodaje de 'Los crímenes de Oxford'. ] ] [ [ noticias ] ] [ [ Eurimages gives coin to 'Oxford' - Entertainment News, Web Exclusive, Media - Variety ] ] [ [ Wood joins suspects in 'Murders' ] ]

Filming began on 22 January 2007 and had finished on 24 March, with locations in Oxford and the Cast Courts of the Victoria and Albert Museum of London. It has been picked up for UK release by Odeon Sky Filmworks, opening there on 25 April 2008. So far, the release date for the US is unknown.


*Elijah Wood - Martin, an American student
*John Hurt - Arthur Seldom, a British authority on logical series.
*Leonor Watling - Lorna, a Spanish nurse
*Julie Cox - Beth Eagleton, a musician, daughter of Mrs. Eagleton.
*Dominique Pinon - Frank, father of an ill girl waiting for an organ transplant (engrossed in Neopythagoreanism).
*Burn Gorman - Yuri Ivanovich Podorov, a crank mathematician.
*Jim Carter - Inspector Petersen
*Anna Massey - Mrs. Julia Eagleton, Martin's landlady and Seldom's friend.
*Alex Cox - Kalman, a demented mathematician


External links

* [ Blasfemando en el vórtice del universo] Alex de la Iglesia's blog.
* [ preview of "The Oxford Murders"] on
* [] pictures of Elijah Wood and John Hurt filming the movie in London.
* [ The Oxford Murders] Official Website.
*A [ review] from Language Log

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