Described as a whodunit for the Trump era, Knives Out brims with A-list actors, plot twists, and red herrings.
The film opens with a dead body. Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a bestselling mystery author, is found with his throat cut in an upstairs den of a large, sprawling Victorian mansion.
The scene quickly shifts to Harlan’s dysfunctional family. Everyone from his realtor daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her unfaithful husband Richard (Don Johnson) to his moody and jealous youngest son Walt (Michael Shannon) to his lifestyle guru daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette) to his playboy grandson Ransom (Chris Evans) is a suspect.
From start to finish, I enjoyed watching these schemers and dreamers alternate between grief, guilt, and entitlement with their self-serving lies, black humor, and squabbling.
As for the help…Harlan’s trusted caregiver Marta (Ana de Armas) assumes a central role when flamboyant Louisiana investigator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) makes Marta his sidekick. An intriguing character, Marta, possesses an unusual propensity for vomiting whenever she utters a falsehood.
In a series of well-placed flashbacks, writer and director Rian Johnson reveals the events that led to Harlan’s untimely death. But there are holes (doughnut holes according to Benoit) in this investigation. Determined to solve the murder, Benoit often says one thing and then does another. When first introduced, he informs the family: “You will find me a quiet, passive observer of the truth.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
This dazzling murder mystery has already garnered three Golden Globe nominations in the Comedy genre: Best Actor (Daniel Craig), Best Actress (Ana de Armas), and Best Motion Picture.
A must-see film!