Z Movie Review

When one thinks of political assassinations, a couple of guys driving by a raconteur standing amidst a crowd then hitting him over the head with a pipe before driving away doesn't exactly leap to mind.

And yet Costa-Gravas had the presence of mind to turn the tepid story of thinly-veiled police corruption in 1963 Greece into Z, and somehow the world bought into it.

Nominated for five Oscars, Z would eventually win Best Foreign Film and Best Film Editing, which will forever baffle me, as Z is one of the least competently edited films I've ever seen. That said, 1969 is an awful year on the whole for movies -- only Midnight Cowboy and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are standouts, along with the un-Oscared Medium Cool (similar to and far better than Z), which also came out that year. Hell, Hello Dolly! got a nomination for Best Picture. Go figure.

The story, based on actual events, has Montand's left-wing Greek politico (though the film is in French and stars mostly French actors) assassinated by the aforementioned means, and despite what must be hundreds of eyewitnesses, the cops can't make a case. Jean-Louis Trintignant's judge investigates the case with barely enough effort to keep his eyes open (both the actor and the character), and thus the audience feels his sleepiness as well. In fact, it isn't until a nosy journalist pokes in that the truth comes out. And a horde of absolutely idiotic conspirators don't help the cover-up, either. Example (paraphrased) -- Crook: "Today's paper has an incriminating picture of me so I came to the hospital to yell at the witness!" Judge: "Today's paper wasn't delivered. Who told you to lie?" Crook: "Oooooooh no! I am caught!"

This level of "edge of your seat action" (as the newly-released DVD cover states) continues for two hours, as the Frenchies smoke, drink, and mumble their way through the whole affair. There's no "intrigue," no matter what the critics say. The acting is bad, the direction is dull, and the script remains at the level of an encyclopedia entry on Greece.

It's difficult to muster much enthusiasm for Z, no matter how acclaimed it is, especially considering that 1976 would bring the seminal political cover-up movie, All the President's Men. In that movie, Alan J. Pakula knew what he was doing in his handling of true-story material, and he didn't even have a murder to work with. Sheesh.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Comments

Z Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG, 1969

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Ariana Grande And Iggy Azalea Are Conquering The World, One Billboard Record At A Time

Everything is coming up Ariana Grande these days, including a record that hasn’t...

Ariana Grande And Iggy Azalea Are Conquering The World, One Billboard Record At A Time

Win A Pair Of Lady Gaga Heartbeats Headphones From Beats By Dre

Welcome all you eagle-eyed freebie spotters to our latest competition where...

Win A Pair Of Lady Gaga Heartbeats Headphones From Beats By Dre

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

It's taken nearly 10 years for filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and graphic novelist Frank Miller to get around to making this sequel...

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Movie Review

'Harry Potter' Director David Yates Will Helm 'Fantastic Beasts' Spin-Off Film

It appears Warner Bros. has found the right man to direct the upcoming 'Fantastic...

 'Harry Potter' Director David Yates Will Helm 'Fantastic Beasts' Spin-Off Film

50 Cent Heckles Floyd Mayweather With Unique ALS Challenge: "F--k The Bucket Of Ice"

50 Cent is known for being involved in several feud's over the years, and it...

50 Cent Heckles Floyd Mayweather With Unique ALS Challenge:

Chase & Status - Music Speaks Story

Winner of Music Speaks, Tony Blaze, talks about what happened during his collaboration with Chase & Status and the...

Chase & Status - Music Speaks Story Video

Two Days, One Night

The Dardenne brothers consistently make compelling dramas that win awards, from Rosetta (1999) to The Kid With a Bike (2011)...

Two Days, One Night Movie Review

What If - Review

With his first romantic-comedy, Daniel Radcliffe proves adept at delivering snappy dialogue and generating strong chemistry with...

What If Movie Review

Statue Of Amy Winehouse To Be Unveiled In Camden Next Month

The late singer Amy Winehouse is to be honoured with a statue near her most...

Statue Of Amy Winehouse To Be Unveiled In Camden Next Month
Advertisement