Monday With Mildred: “Knives Out”

Knives Out movie poster

Knives Out

This sharp murder mystery cozy is honed to a point that will have you on the edge of your seat. Okay, it’s not that suspenseful, but I couldn’t resist the puns. Knives Out is designed to give you a nostalgic feeling for classic ensemble whodunits like Murder on the Orient Express, Murder by Death, and Clue. On looking at similar titles I have noticed I’ve not seen many of them, so now I’m going to have to give my queue a workout.

All the tropes are covered, like the same scene played multiple times from different perspectives, with a voice over from the all-seeing detective. The all-star cast features Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans and Daniel Craig as the goofy Americana version of Hercule Poirot. The looming, gorgeous Adams Family next door neighbor house, in which the art department spewed an amazing assortment of knickknacks, is the setting for the death and subsequent detecting. Most of the actors play the family, who have come back for a reading of superstar mystery writer Harlen Thrombey’s will. He cut his own throat after his birthday party…or did he? Much of the scenery was chewed to pieces by the wonderful cast who each took their part and ran like Forest Gump.

There are many humorous moments and situations, but when Daniel Craig does his impassioned doughnut hole soliloquy I lost it. I can’t believe he did that with a straight face. Ana de Armas, who plays the poor maid who is the only person actually mourning the death of her boss, has a funny quirk that’s good for a few smiles. I really love the very last image, with a funny and poignant callback to the beginning of the film.

Many kudos to the art department that crafted the knife sculpture. It is a thing of beauty, and would look fantastic on the Game of Thrones set. The director occasionally does some weird things with the lighting that I found a bit annoying, but the music is sweetly reminiscent of this kind of film.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this movie, so I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already. From the great, big cast, the art decorations and setting, the nostalgic and understated score, and the central mystery plot, there’s a lot to like even if you’ve not been a big fan of ensemble mysteries before, and even more to enjoy if already like them. There is apparently a Knives Out sequel that is supposed to come out next year with one of my favorites, Dave Bautista, and Daniel reprising his role.

LINKS:

Knives Out (2019 Movie) Final Trailer – Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas

Director Rian Johnson Breaks Down a Scene from ‘Knives Out’ | Vanity Fair

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