Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

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knives
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#26 Post by knives » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:14 pm

He's still paying off that Sleuth debt clearly.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#27 Post by Dr Amicus » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:22 am

Well, I went to see this with Mrs Amicus and my 9 year old, who enjoyed it quite a lot (but did find it a bit of a strong 12A - not that he was objecting!). Even though this is now in its third week, the afternoon showing was really busy (about 80% full I'd say), indeed it seems to have been something of a major hit in the UK - it should easily outgross Wonder Woman for example.

I liked it quite a bit - there is a pointless "action" sequence near the end, some of the cast really do not have enough to do (Olivia Colman, Dame Judi), and the actual explanation of whodunit and how-they-dun-it is a bit rushed, but it generally moves along at a decent pace, Branagh is an entertaining Poirot but if anyone grabs any award attention from this (apart from behind the scenes) my money is on Michelle Pfeiffer. As a director, Branagh is always keen to show some spectacular vistas, with a few tricks here and there (overhead shots for key sequences, suspect interviews often shot through glass which multiplies the image suggestive of other sides to the character). I'd be quite happy if this became a series, and it certainly implies at the end that the next one could be:
SpoilerShow
Death On The Nile

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#28 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:40 am

Yeah, I don't have a sophisticated defense of this or anything, but I thought it was fun- Branagh's accent is pitched at about the same level as his mustache, and the whole thing feels like it was mostly an excuse to fuck around (Willem Dafoe in particular seems to be enjoying himself.) Its a somewhat remarkable movie only because it seems like such an outlier- I can't remember the last Hollywood whodunit I saw, much less ones as sort of classical as this- but hell, I'd see another.

It's a shame they picked a mystery with maybe the most famous solution in all of modern crime fiction though.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#29 Post by Dr Amicus » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:33 am

Oh, I'd definitely agree re Dafoe - he's clearly having a whale of a time. Indeed, I might have mentioned him above with Pfeiffer except Supporting Actor is usually a really competitive field. I don't know if there's already a favourite in the category, but I can see Pfeiffer getting a you-haven't-won-yet Oscar for this.

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MichaelB
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#30 Post by MichaelB » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:49 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:It's a shame they picked a mystery with maybe the most famous solution in all of modern crime fiction though.
This is why I was thinking of taking my kids, who almost certainly wouldn't be familiar with the outcome.

But they wanted to see Paddington 2 instead, and I can't honestly say I blame them - if I'm brutally honest, I did too.

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Ribs
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#31 Post by Ribs » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:02 pm

The problem with doing more is that none of the other Poirot stories have 1/10th the name recognition!

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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#32 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:49 pm

I really want to see Death on the Nile with Paddington as Hecules Poirot now! Offering the suspects marmalade sandwiches to see who gets caught sticky-pawed!
Dr Amicus wrote:Oh, I'd definitely agree re Dafoe - he's clearly having a whale of a time. Indeed, I might have mentioned him above with Pfeiffer except Supporting Actor is usually a really competitive field. I don't know if there's already a favourite in the category, but I can see Pfeiffer getting a you-haven't-won-yet Oscar for this.
Pfeiffer is having quite a career resurgence this year with mother! as well, which would seem to make her a strong contender - a controversial horror film that might not be possible to honour but gets a lot of attention combined with a memorable supporting turn in a big budget glamorous period murder mystery would seem to cover all the bases.


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domino harvey
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#34 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:30 am

Dr Amicus wrote:Oh, I'd definitely agree re Dafoe - he's clearly having a whale of a time. Indeed, I might have mentioned him above with Pfeiffer except Supporting Actor is usually a really competitive field. I don't know if there's already a favourite in the category, but I can see Pfeiffer getting a you-haven't-won-yet Oscar for this.
Dafoe is currently the odds-on favorite to win Supporting Actor... for the Florida Project

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Brian C
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Re: Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

#35 Post by Brian C » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:18 am

domino harvey wrote:Dafoe is currently the odds-on favorite to win Supporting Actor... for the Florida Project
Which he would actually deserve 100x more than his completely routine and forgettable work here!

I'll be honest, the only actor who really seemed to be having fun here is Branagh himself, who conveniently for him has a sympathetic director to work with. I didn't think the movie made very good use of its large cast - mostly they waltz in for a scene here and there, but don't even have too much to do since Poirot spends most of the screen time explaining to them who they are. I guess that's just the nature of this particular beast, but it's still an odd thing that not a single one of the passengers functions as a character outside of what Poirot tells us about them, aside from Pfeiffer to a small degree if I really want to be generous about it.

It's watchable enough, because Branagh at least is a skilled performer, even as broadly as he's playing here. I can maybe be convinced to go see the sequel, but I suspect this is the kind of thing that'll hit diminishing returns awful quick, both creatively and business-wise, not unlike Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films.

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