Sunday, May 04, 2008

Citizen X

By far one of the all-time best detective films I have ever seen and amazingly enough it was made for television! Stephen Rea portrays the forensic expert turned inspector burdened with the task of tracking down a serial killer, in this case the notorious Andrei Chikatilo, while having to deal with the politics and red tape of a Communist Russia. It is this last aspect which makes CITIZEN X stand apart from so many other films here and I won't ruin the twists to be found. Donald Sutherland, despite some bad accent work, turns in a great performance here as does Max von Sydow, Joss Ackland and John Wood. All of this freat talent aside it is Stephen Rea who carries this tormented piece of work and his style is such you swear you are watching a documentary rather than a teledrama. His equal in this respect is Jeffrey DeMunn. He has a face you will recognize from many of the Stephen King based films such as THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE MIST, and STORM OF THE CENTURY. You will not make the connection here, without the aid of make-up he transforms himself into the most famous of the Soviet Union's non-political butchers and I'm sorry to say it was he and not Donald Sutherland who should have taken the Golden Globe award for best supporting actor that year. Powerful, haunting and disturbing as can be and it will make you ask if they can pull this off for television what the hell is wrong with the major studios these days.


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