I am not sure who recommended it, but the title that came across was Knives Out. I had just finished the Peacock original, “Poker Face” that was absolutely delightful (seriously, it is worth starting a trial to binge it, it is that good), and the director of Poker Face had just released a new movie on Netflix (Glass Onion) and I wanted to watch the original, so I wanted to rent Knives Out. I ended up buying a copy, and I am glad that I did.
Set in the northeast, it begins with the birthday party of the patriarch of the family, an author of not in the genre of mystery. Clearly the author isn’t enjoying the party (for reasons that become evident later), and after the party begins to wind down, he finds himself in his room with his private nurse (played by Ana de Armas) where she makes a mistake in administering morphine, putting Thromby on a direct path to an OD. Naturally she can’t find the safety dose of Naloxone in her kit. Thromby, a facile creator, hatches a scheme to keep his trusted nurse from being blamed.
Then we meet the central character (as if Ana de Armas is not worthy); Benoit Blanc, a famous detective (private), who was recently covered in a New Yorker long form story. A deep southern accent is key to the performance of his role, and it is executed flawlessly by the actor, Daniel Craig1, in the movie.
I will stop there on the story, to save it for your enjoyment. That said, I need to mention the rest of the cast. The main players are the children (or “issue”) of the patriarch, and like in many families of means, the descendants are wastrels, and this basket of deplorables is populated with some great names. The two that just made my jaw drop were Jamie Lee Curtis, and Don Johnson. The casting director did a phenomenal job.
Then there is the brilliance of the director, Rian Johnson. As I mentioned above, the Peacock series Poker Face was outstanding, and clearly that wasn’t a fluke. Johnson has the chops and vision.
I HIGHLY recommend this movie. I can’t think of a single part of the movie that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. I have watched it several times, each time taking pleasure in the delightful antics.
- Yes, the same one that played the last 5 James Bond movies… ↩︎