Knives Out

Knives Out ★★★★

May partially be inherent to the format, but it stuck out more to me some of the writerly inelegance here -- or, maybe, hyper-elegance? At times each, but the big frustrations were admittedly when the dialogue was bristling with excitement to point out what it was doing. There was a really good example at some point that isn't coming to me any longer, but the worse example is pulling at each and every thread over the twenty-minute denouement, explaining the nature of every single element of the early-film tablesetting. Like I said, it's in the nature of the type of story, but there would have been a joy in leaving some of these details for observant viewers to pick up on their own I think.

Otherwise, remains a delight. The crucial detail remains that Harlan's ostensibly incredibly generous gesture, giving Marta his inheritance, is nonetheless an objectively dangerous and thoughtless thing for him to have done. A gesture made from the position of someone who has never had to consider the practical scrutiny she exists under, who has never had to be in opposition to the many institutional powers which could easily take it and more back away from her. This holds so much of the rest of the movie together, particularly as paired with what this movie actually is.

It's ostensibly a mystery, sure, but so much of what seems true on first impression here proves true, so many of the things said early on end up having been right after a detour through alternative theories, etc. There are surprises and twists, sure, but in function this is so much more about the emotional journey of being in a mystery than it is having an elaborate mystery, a function which dovetails super elegantly with looking at the institutional powers this examines. Marta, in de Armas' hands, is fabulously unmoored, and she swept me up in her struggles fiercely more than a few times this revisit.

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