A couple months ago, I told everyone to watch “Clue” and said it was my favorite movie of all time. That still stands true, but a recent film series has come close to being held in that high regard. I am of course talking about “Knives Out.”
I referred to it in my “Clue” column saying it’s directly influenced by the ‘80s classic, and now it’s time I talk about it. I recently watched “Glass Onion,” the sequel to “Knives Out,” and I won’t spoil that movie. Just know that it is as fantastic as its 2019 predecessor.
However, I have to talk about “Knives Out” because it is one of my favorite films featuring some of the best character work in recent film history. It takes a page from “Clue” in that it’s less of a whodunit and is more of a “howdunit.”
Now, Rian Johnson, writer of both of those films, never explicitly claimed “Clue” as an influence for “Knives Out,” but there are some references and parallels that I cannot ignore. There are arguably even more “Clue” references in “Glass Onion,” but that’s a future column.
Both “Knives Out” and “Clue” have perfect leads in Daniel Craig and Tim Curry, respectively, who figure out not only the killer, but how the killer committed their crimes. I love how both films take you through one story, then they retell that story from another perspective to add clarity.
In “Clue,” it’s more of a silly performance revealing the murderer, but “Knives Out” still pays homage in having a sense of humor about it and still having fun with the reveal. The 2019 mystery also made a few references with LaKeith Stanfield’s character calling the mansion a “Clue board.”
Just like Madeline Khan, I also have to show my appreciation for the zany performances that truly carry “Knives Out” for me. Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans and Toni Collette are just a few that impressed me. Collette in particular perfectly played Joni Thrombey, the entitled daughter-in-law who fakes empathy for clout or money.
She is perhaps my favorite part of “Knives Out” with her obnoxiously accurate portrayal of a gold digger. She is an in-law to the rich family claiming to be close to them even after her husband died.
However, it’s clear that the rest of the family barely tolerates her. Similar to Mrs. White, I believe Collette’s character killed her husband. It’s not confirmed how he died or that she killed him, but I think it’s in the realm of possibilities since she is considered to be a beneficiary in the will.
Anyway, I’ve spent another column telling people to watch a mystery film because I apparently have no other interests. I just love that genre of film. “Glass Onion” also doesn’t disappoint, and I recommend it to everyone. It’s on Netflix. I would also be happy to hear any recommendations for mystery or noir films.
Standard reporter Taylor Moore can be reached at (931) 473-2191.