|Man, this is SOME cast|
(Spoiler alert: I think Brick is brilliant. Not to be missed!)
|Curtis, Plummer, Johnson & Shannon|
And that cast, under Johnson's direction of a screenplay he also wrote, flat-out delivers.
|Michael Shannon & Chris Evans|
Christopher Plummer is brilliant as the successful mystery author/family patriarch/requisite dead body/ guy everyone secretly hated. Jamie Lee Curtis shines as his driven, perceptive, angry daughter. Don Johnson is terrific as her "complicated" husband. Chris Evans as their asshat son makes you want to by turns laugh out loud and slap him. Michael Shannon is nuanced and riveting as Plummer's nebishy-and-none-too-successful only surviving son. Toni Collette nails the portrayal of the flakey New Age widow of Plummer's long-dead other son. Ana De Armas steal scene after scene with a pitch-perfect portrayal of Plummer's pathologically honest nurse/unofficial amanuensis/sole confidante.
Then there are the cops! LaKeith Stanfield is great as the local police detective with the thankless task of running the investigation of the recently departed novelist's suspicious death. Frequent Johnson collaborator Noah Segan hilariously portraying a Massachusetts state trooper/crime fiction fanboy, and Daniel Craig perfectly plays the reknowned private detective improbably consulting with the local cops on this baffling scenario.
|Craig busy detecting and Stanfield busy being frustrated|
|Ana De Armas and The House|
I was chewing over all of the above as my wife and I left the theater after the film. Out of the blue, she turned to me and, as usual, neatly summed up the experience in a way that had not occurred to me.
"Johnson," she said, "Made a cozy."
And she was right!
|And he even nailed the accent!|
I mean, hey, it's been done before. And it's been sent-up before, too. This film owes equal debts to the likes of Murder, She Wrote, and such parodies of the form as Clue.
That said, Johnson and his cast still manage to breathe new life into both the form and the parodies of it. And best of all, they bring the whole thing off as a clear love letter to the form they're riffing on.
There's so much to like here.
And on that note, I don't want to give too much away, so I'll wrap this entry up here. What else can I say? Knives Out is well worth a look!
Did you see it? If so, what did you think? Please give a response in the Comments section!
See you in two weeks with the de rigueur "End of Year" post. Happy Holidays!