7.0/10
3,497
87 user 31 critic

Apartment Zero (1988)

Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane ... See full summary »

Director:

Martin Donovan

Writers:

Martin Donovan (story), Martin Donovan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hart Bochner ... Jack Carney
Colin Firth ... Adrian LeDuc
Dora Bryan ... Margaret McKinney
Liz Smith ... Mary Louise McKinney
Fabrizio Bentivoglio ... Carlos Sanchez-Verne
James Telfer James Telfer ... Vanessa
Mirella D'Angelo ... Laura Werpachowsky
Juan Vitali Juan Vitali ... Alberto Werpachowsky
Cipe Lincovsky ... Mrs. Treniev
Francesca d'Aloja Francesca d'Aloja ... Claudia
Miguel Ligero Miguel Ligero ... Mr. Palma
Elvia Andreoli Elvia Andreoli ... Adrian's Mother
Marikena Monti Marikena Monti ... Tango Singer
Luis Romero Luis Romero ... Projectionist
Oca Spirito Oca Spirito ... Woman in Cinema 1
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Storyline

Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane mother's room due to poor ticket sales at his revival movie theater. Jack Carney, the new roommate, appears normal enough at first but it soon becomes apparent that he is hiding something. As their friendship develops, Adrian suppresses his suspicions that Jack may be the government mercenary turned serial killer who has been terrorizing the city. The other eccentric residents of the building begin to worry as Adrian shows increasing signs that his mother's insanity may be hereditary. The shocking climax of this twisted tale of deceit, perversion and murder reveals the darker side of the human psyche. Written by Kevin Jundt

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

15 September 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Apartment Zero See more »

Filming Locations:

Argentina See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,823, 17 September 1989

Gross USA:

$1,267,578

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,267,578
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Liz Smith was cast at short notice after the original cast performer withdrew because of illness. See more »

Quotes

Adrian LeDuc: If that is a mask please take it off now, or keep it on forever.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The out-of-print Japanese laserdisc edition of this film is the original 124 minute theatrical cut. See more »

Connections

References Catch-22 (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Cambalache
By Enrique Santos Discepolo
Arranged by Luis Maria Serra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Mr. Darcy, How Could You!"
10 May 2016 | by pzivojinovicSee all my reviews

A claustrophobic, anxious environment that is the setting for this film. Adrian, the resident of Apartment Zero, has created within that space a controlled, sanitized existence into which the outside world cannot penetrate. He purposefully avoids intimacy of any kind, preferring to absorb himself in a celluloid reality of male screen idols (Montgomery Clift, James Dean) and classic American movies. The outside world begins to close in on Adrian after his institutionalized mother dies and the necessity of having a cash-flow forces him to rent one of the rooms in his flat. The prospect of a suitable flat mate is grim until Jack walks into the room. As Adrian puts it, Jack possesses a certain "James Dean je ne sais quoi." Jack turns out to be a chameleon of a man, who is also a quick study of human weakness and insecurity. In a short time, Jack has Adrian, along with the other lonely residences in the apartment complex, dependent upon his affections.

While the film itself feels a bit dated after more than twenty years, and it takes its own sweet time to explore its possibilities and eventually assume its inevitable direction, there is much to relish along the way. There's no real need for a cross-dresser in the story, for instance, but the film would be diminished without him. Since 1988, we've seen Colin Firth emerge as a kind of coolly aloof and vaguely mournful romantic hero in just about anything he does, but here he is cast as a young man with what feels like the early onset of dementia, which certainly makes for a change. Meanwhile, the weirdness of his handsome and self-absorbed apartment-mate (Hart Bochner) gives an edge to their relationship that compels a kind of helpless fascination, always defying predictability.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.


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