ethan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ana De Armas for best actress? Yes pls
Im starting this off by saying I do not at all get the hate for Rian Johnson in this film community. Personally as a filmmaker I think he's amazing. Brick is really good, The Brothers Bloom is such an underrated movie, Looper I absolutely love and then The Last Jedi is controversially another great film and entry within Star Wars. To say the least, Knives Out isn't Johnson's best movie but its still pretty great. Labelled as a modern take on this whodunnit detective movie follows a very rich modern day family family whose wealthiest matriarch is found dead after the family and his caretakers have celebrated his big 85th birthday. Once his lifeless body has been discovered a private detective along with two investigators are brought in to question everyone there that night about who could be the murder in this family bound case. Im not the biggest fan of this specific genre of film, more so im not that invested in for the only other major whodunnit movie I've would be the recent Murder On The Orient Express. Which is the only thing I can safely compare Knives Out to because of how familiar the storytelling is in both film, they both take place in one location and the lead detective is a British bloke putting on a strange accent. Which is a little disappointing after what else I've seen from Johnson, nonetheless. He leaves this film full of twists that for a good portion of the film guides your eyes to many different characters who all have a good reason, especially at the start of the film. Parallel editing being used to tell the events from all of the witnesses alongside of the party itself. A great amount of tension is caused too, edge of you seat stuff at some points too (probably causing great annoyance to those sat around me) which just made the film such a fun one to watch. Not to mention all the humour landing brilliantly which was supported by such an amazing cast in the film. Everyone did such a brilliant job, lead character in the center of it all especially. A flawless performance for sure. Some of the humor was political only to add some 21st century edginess to it, satirical almost. Detective Blanc was, interesting. By performance and some of the gags involving him, the getting annoyed by someone pronouncing your name wrong is always kinda funny. The balance was good though, between humour drama and tension. On a technical level as well its all really good, other than the music, didn't get much from that unfortunately, production design on Johnsons direction though make up from this. What also lacked was something more astute, an auteur trait which I feel let down by and that's the absence of JGL, appearing in some fashion in each of Johnson's feature films, but where the hell is this guy at the minute? Back to Knives Out, I feel the start drags a little, some scenes could've been cut down but all felt important to the narrative, and by the time it found its footing and the audience began to figure out what was going on it became a highly enjoyable film, one filled with amazing performances, fun twists and memorable too. Great little project from some Star Wars money.