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Charlize Theron MURDER MYSTERY John Madden Makes Killing Cute Again
Charlie Theron’s agent has some serious Shazam going these days. She’s flirting with overexposure, sure, but the Oscar winning beauty has been in hit films across genres this season. Now she’s zeroed-in on the crime genre with a project suited to steal hearts as well as lives: Murder Mystery.
So who ensures the fun side of homicide is shown in Murder Mystery? John Madden, a director who is a bona fide sniper when it comes to heartwarming period pieces. Combine him with Charlize’s towering talent for inhabiting roles and inflicting emotion, and you’ve got an open-shut case on your hands.
Need I even provide evidence on Theron’s cinematic power? Let’s move right on to proving Madden:
First off, I’ll admit that he runs hot and cold at the box office. Even when he’s bringing to bear his talent for conveying a romantic atmosphere, steeping the narrative in setting and plucking our heartstrings, he can fall short. Case in point, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Nic Cage can be a real albatross at times, and this overly esoteric ballad to World War II Greece just barely made box office over budget. And when he went noir, helming a film based Elmore Leonard, Killshot, he downright flopped
But when John Madden runs hot, he runs real hot. Shakespeare in Love blew many wigs off, thanks in large part to Madden’s ability to amplify the setting, the drama and the female lead. Charlize is perfect material to be amplified.
So what about the setting of Murder Mystery? Agatha Christie is going to get a hat tip from this homage, which will likely be set in some quirky locale. According to the word on the Web, it’s an “affectionate deconstruction” of Christie’s work, with the customary comedy thrown in. Following Americans – Charlie likely among them – traveling abroad, this will allow Madden to pump up the atmosphere, much like he did in his recent smash hit, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Final verdict: John Madden only misses the mark when he strays from what he’s best at, refined and romantic treatments of tried-and-true formulas. With Shakespeare in Love, he had the love that cannot be; with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, he had self-discovery in a simpler land. Now with Murder Mystery, Charlize Theron and Agatha Christie, John Madden has a recipe for some killer box office.