Knives Out was a huge success, getting praise from audiences and critics for a unique and interesting take on the murder mystery, adding some fresh in a genre which can rely a lot on cliches and become predictable. The film went on to get nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars, in what was an incredibly stacked year for screenplays alongside Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and the winner, Parasite.
You could probably make a case that Knives Out was the film that got everyone to sit up and pay attention to Ana De Armas, when her only big film before this was Blade Runner 2049. It also seemed to give energy back to Daniel Craig, who after having played Bond for a number of years, had clearly lost his passion for that role, but seemed reinvigorated playing the quirky, fun, southerner detective Benoit Blanc.
A group of people (and Benoit Blanc) are all invited to their friends island for a weekend away where there will be a murder mystery party, where things start to go wrong when someone is actually murdered.
Rian Johnson is one of my favourite filmmakers at the moment (yes, I like Star Wars: The Last Jedi). I love the way he writes, his dialogue, his style, and the way he creates a story, the world he builds and invites you into with his films. He’s incredibly creative and I don’t think there’s anyone like him. I think that’s why he has such ease assembling a great cast and drawing some of the biggest and most talented in Hollywood to his films.
Daniel Craig returns as Benoit Blanc and delivers another fantastic performance as the detective. It’s clear to see how much fun Craig is having in the role and you can see why it would be. I would watch a 100 films of Craig doing this character and can’t wait til the next time we see him.
The group of supporting characters who the film revolves around as we try to work out who murdered and the reason why, is also strong. The strongest performance came from Janelle Monae, not someone who has really caught my attention before with her performances in Hidden Figures and Moonlight, but steals the show in a similar way to how Ana De Armas did in Knives Out, and very well could earn herself an Oscar nomination.
The rest of the supporting cast does decent enough jobs, but honestly I would’ve liked to have seen more of them so they can truly go on and show what they can do. I would’ve liked to have seen Leslie Odom Jr do a bit more and get a bit more development. I’m a big fan of his work and think he delivers every time, but always feel like he never gets enough time. The focus is very much on Edward Norton, as he is the one whose character is hosting the party. It’s nice to see Dave Bautista not just doing the same role he has been doing since Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, and I’d actually say it’s his strongest performance I’ve seen from him. Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick and Madelyn Cline all do servicable jobs without standing out. There’s a few cameos, which I won’t spoil, which were nice surprises, but I would’ve loved to have seen a lot more of them.
I was particularly impressed by Steve Yedlin’s work with cinematography. He has regularly worked with Johnson on a lot of his other films and this might be the best looking one yet, very well could pick up a nomination for his work in this but could lose out with bigger films like The Batman, or the work of Roger Deakins for Empire of Light.
The biggest bit of praise I have for this film is for Netflix for actually putting it in cinemas. It might have only been for a limited cinematic release before its release on the service near Christmas. When it was revealed that the Knives Out sequels were bought by Netflix I feared the worst, if I could watch every film in the cinema I would, especially ones that can be a slow burn like a murder mystery. Despite the limited release it has done very well in cinemas and might just be the start of a streaming service doing this more, putting more films in cinemas, even if it’s for a limited run, giving the opportunity to the audience that want to watch films on the big screen, and those who just want to watch it at home that chance too. Cinema is still very much alive!
Overall, Glass Onion is around about as good as the first one, which like most murder mysteries will probably improve on a rewatch even more as you find pieces you missed the first time now you know who did it. A clever screenplay from a talented filmmaker and talented cast is always a good recipe and this one delivers.
What did you think of Glass Onion?
November was a busy month but with Oscar season coming around quickly, I will be back on the reviews and posting content whenever I can. Be sure to follow via the links below to keep up to date with the latest reviews and posts.