Black Mamba (connielane) wrote,
Black Mamba

Knives Out

I'm dying to talk about this movie, but most social media isn't compatible with spoiler talk because there aren't cut tags. So LJ it is, and I'm just going to type for a bit, so when I link this on Facebook the preview doesn't cut into the spoilers below. So here we go...




My FAVORITE thing about this movie by far is that Marta wins in the end because she’s a good person and doesn’t play games with people. She even makes it more certain that she’ll be caught by trying to save Fran’s life and calling 911. And she turns out not to be guilty because she’s good at her job. Daniel Craig’s delivery of that reveal is outstanding and made me choke up despite his over-the-top accent.

Speaking of which, everyone keeps comparing Blanc’s accent to Foghorn Leghorn, but I submit that the Foghorn Leghorn accent is incomplete without the stammering (“boy … I say, boy”).

Everyone in this cast is chewing all the scenery they can get a hold of EXCEPT Ana De Armas, who plays Marta fairly straight and makes the whole thing so much more than a goofball comedy (as funny as it still is). Not surprised to see people talking her up for Best Supporting Actress.

Loved the Hamilton shout-out. And “I saw it at the Public” is such a specific preen.

If I ever own a house, I want one of those trick windows.

I looked up “Deadly by Surprise” (the Danica McKellar Hallmark movie) and sadly it is not real.

Several references to mysteries in pop culture in this movie, like Elliott saying Harlan lives in a “giant Clue board” and Marta’s mom watching Murder, She Wrote.

I caught so many foreshadowy things on the second viewing. Like Ransom’s throwaway line that “only the help calls me Hugh.” And before that, Linda talks about her special way of communicating with Harlan, which sets up the end with the seemingly blank letter. But she also looks through some old letters from him and they all have scorch marks on them. Also, in the scene where Harlan and Marta play Go, Harlan says in reference to Ransom that he doesn’t know the difference between a prop knife and a murder weapon, which foreshadows his failed attempt to kill Marta at the end.

Linda is the most sympathetic of the Thrombeys to me. Not just because of Richard’s affair, but because even though she got a head start with Harlan’s money, it’s still her business and she’s the only one who’s not completely screwed by the change of the will because she has money of her own (which Richard now presumably won’t have access to because of the pre-nup). She also does not participate in the political discussion except to look appalled, mostly at her husband, and try to shield Marta from the family’s unwelcome attention. I also think she’s the only one other than Marta who is completely honest and has nothing to hide.

Every time someone mentions where Marta’s family is from it’s a different country. Because no one really knows or cares. Though I suspect Linda has it right that first time.

That conversation about the current occupant of the White House feels so in character for everyone (and I love that they never say his name, which makes it feel a bit more timeless). Of course Richard is a (supposedly reluctant) MAGA-head who thinks he’s well-meaning (and it’s kind of delicious that he’s wrong about Marta’s mother and how she came into the country - I’m guessing this makes Marta a DREAMer?). And Meg is SUCH a White Liberal. She talks a good game and is probably a fierce political tweeter, but when it counts her principles are nowhere to be seen if it conflicts with her interests. I also can’t help noticing that Linda doesn’t have anything to say in that scene (unless I’m misremembering again).

Speaking of Meg, that phone call to Marta was amazing. She knows where her bread is buttered and as soon as she gets assurance that Marta is going to take care of her, *click* conversation over.

I think Joni might be my least favorite Thrombey (well, aside from the Nazi child). Toni Colette is so great and plays her as such a self-involved wannabe “influencer.” When she’s trying to turn Meg against Marta, asking “you think I can pay for your school?” I just thought “what about all that money you stole from Harlan by double-dipping on Meg’s tuition?”. I also love that she “read a Tweet” about the New Yorker article covering Blanc, whereas Linda actually read the article.

I love the relationship between Marta and Harlan. I also laughed that, after Marta realizes her mistake, he jots down the info about the mixed up drugs as a good murder method for a future book.

Loved Trooper Wagner, as played by Noah Segan (a Rian Johnson regular who even had an uncredited role as a firefighter in “Ozymandias,” a Breaking Bad episode Johnson directed). He’s such a pop culture nerd and a particular fan of Harlan’s work, and I love when he shushes (I think) Lt. Elliott while Blanc is spinning the big reveal. Like “wait, this is the good part.”

The thing I thought might be a plot hole on first viewing (though I was prepared for it to just be something I’d missed or misremembered) was that I couldn’t figure out why Marta lied about the phone call regarding Fran. But I had forgotten that Blanc started making a big thing of Marta saving Fran’s life *before* she got the call. He even says that they’re going to go to the hospital and take her statement, which sets Ransom up to start incriminating himself.

LOL that coffee cup (“My House. My Rules. My Coffee.”), which is one of the first things you see in the movie, as well as one of the last things you see.

Loved that Chris Evans (who was in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) makes a sly reference to Baby Driver.

Chris Evans is great in this, and he’s in great company. He’s such a delicious tonic for the rest of the family. Then he’s a nice guy for about 20 minutes, then a complete monster. And as many times as we see Marta vomit in the movie, I love that the only time we actually see the physical goo is when it splatters all over his smug face. I also really love all his sweaters.

Everything about the reveal with the drugs works SO well. I was even thinking about how, even though she knew the little, imperceptible differences between the drugs, it’s still totally plausible that she would believe she’d mixed them up. Because once she injects it, she no longer has the two full vials to compare to each other.

ETA: I can't believe I forgot that FRANK OZ (Muppet voice actor extraordinaire) is in this, as the executor of the will. I love how *done* he is with the family and how he takes the very first opportunity to leave them to tear each other's hair out.

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