A Pure Formality (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Pure Formality (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Pure Formality Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

The sweet sentimental gauze of director Giuseppe Tornatore's international hit Cinema Paradiso (1988) is nowhere to be found in this dark, Kafkaesque crime thriller that takes place, stage play-style, mostly in the confines of one room. Gerard Depardieu stars as Onoff, a famed author who has become a recluse in recent years, publishing nothing. Late one night he is picked up by police officers, who find him running across the French countryside in the rain, breathless and apparently suffering from short-term memory loss. A murder has been committed in the nearby woods, and suspecting Onoff's involvement, the authorities detain him at a leaky, dark command post to await the arrival of an inspector (Roman Polanski), ironically a fan of Onoff's work, who will interrogate his subject and try to arrive at the truth. Una Pura Formalita (1994) was produced simultaneously with Polanski's Death and the Maiden (1994), another film with a stage-bound quality featuring a long, stormy night's interrogation in a single room.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Giuseppe Tornatore, Pascal Quignard
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 30, 1996
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Watch it now


Roman Pola?ski
as Inspector
Sergio Rubini
as Young Policeman
Paolo Lombardi
as Warrant Officer
Roman Polanski
as Inspector
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Pure Formality

Critic Reviews for A Pure Formality

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (8)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 16, 2003
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Pure Formality

Many say that the movie is underrated, but if it's so, it's reasonable. Most of the public in general won't be able to figure out wtf the whole movie was about (sometimes, even spoon-feeding becomes inevitable.....and that goes for me too). The movie also leaves you with many questions unanswered, which also, IMO, is not welcomed by general viewer. As for me, I was impressed with the way the movie moved forward, but as soon as I began to get signs of symbolism, I was kinda put off. After that point, I watched the rest of the movie for a pure formality. Besides, the ending of the movie isn't epic either (based on the assumption that I got it right). So there would be an elite group reserved for this 'different' kind of cinema that would be able to appreciate it, but I can't say how many of the rest would.

P.S. When I say "public in general", it includes me too (knew it already?). And all this blah-blah is just my opinion, and it can be wrong as it happens more often than not!!! So don't let it discourage you if you're going for it.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Well directed & acted & fun to watch but nothing more, The twist doesn't work well & it spoils the film's intensity & seriousness & makes the whole thing a bit ridiculous

Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

A Pure Formality Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss A Pure Formality on our Movie forum!