Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (2013) Nathaniel Parker, Anthony Lemke, Kate Hewlett, Gabriel Hogan, Mike McPhaden, Susanna Fournier, Deborah Grover, Judith Baribeau Movie Review

Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (2013)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Anthony Lemke, Nathaniel Parker and Susanna Fournier in Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (2013)

Mid Three Pines Murder

After the discovery of a woman found dead in the woods, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (Nathaniel Parker - The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler) and his team arrive in Three Pines to investigate. But as they probe into what happened they discover that the quiet town of Three Pines is not as quiet and sleepy as it first appears.

Those who have arrived at this review of "Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery" having read some of my previous reviews will be aware that I am not much of a book reader and have not read the novel by Louise Penny which this made for TV movie is based upon. As per usual this is probably a good thing because rarely do movies, let alone made for TV movies, do justice to the original novel and that tends to upset the fans of the book. But even with no prior knowledge of the story or the characters I have to say that "Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery" was a bit blah; nicely shot, reasonably acted but with the feel of a British detective series transposed to Canada which is not my thing.

So as I said "Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery" reminds me of a British detective series but set in Canada and that starts with the crime happening in a small town and the choice of weapon appearing to be an arrow rather than the standard gun, strangulation or blunt trauma to the head. But then we have the character of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache played by British actor Nathaniel Parker who plays him like a typical British detective, charming, confident with a few amusing mannerisms but also an air of thinking two or three steps ahead of the game. Everything about the movie including the curious locals and the story trajectory, with everything building to a big reveal by the end of the movie, is familiar and routine. The only thing different to a British detective movie is the elements of CSI which give "Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery" an occasional and much needed burst of energy as at times it feels a little too pedestrian.

All of which probably makes it sound like I didn't enjoy "Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery" when in truth it was an entertaining distraction. It is nicely shot; at times it moves along at a reasonable pace and has just the right amount of amusement so that it never becomes too comical but isn't too dry either. But the familiarity of it all prevents it from being anything more than enjoyably average and the sort of movie which just a few days later will have been erased from your memory.

What this all boils down to is that if you enjoy modern made for TV detective movies "Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery" will probably entertain but at the same time it will feel all a little too routine.