Knives Out (movie).

2019 film directed by Rian Johnson

Knives Out is a 2019 American mystery film written, produced, and directed by Rian Johnson. A modern whodunit, the film follows a family gathering gone awry, after the family patriarch’s death leads a master detective to investigate. The film features an ensemble cast, including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.

Knives Out had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on November 27, 2019, by Lionsgate. The film received critical acclaim, particularly for its screenplay, plot, direction, ensemble cast, humor, and performances. The film appeared on over 150 top ten lists that year. As of January 2020, the film has grossed $266 million worldwide against a $40 million budget. At the 77th Golden Globe Awards, the film received three nominations in the Musical or Comedy category: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor for Craig, and Best Actress for de Armas. It also received a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards[7] and 92nd Academy Awards.[8]

Contents

  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Release
  • 5 Reception
    • 5.1 Box office
    • 5.2 Critical response
    • 5.3 Accolades
  • 6 Sequel
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Plot[edit]

Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his family to his mansion for his 85th birthday party. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran finds him dead, with his throat slit. The police are convinced that Harlan’s death is a suicide, but an anonymous party pays private detective Benoit Blanc to investigate.

Blanc learns that Harlan had alienated many of his family: he had threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard for having an affair, cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s allowance for stealing from him, fired his youngest son Walt from his publishing company, and cut his grandson Ransom out of his will.

Unknown to Blanc, after the party, Harlan’s nurse, Marta Cabrera, accidentally administered him an overdose of morphine instead of his usual pain medication, leaving Harlan minutes to live. Harlan gave Marta instructions to create a false alibi to avoid suspicion for causing his death; he then slit his own throat. Marta carried out Harlan’s instructions but was seen by Harlan’s elderly mother, who mistook her for Ransom.

Marta cannot lie without vomiting, so she gives true but incomplete answers when Blanc questions her. Blanc asks her to assist his investigation. As they search the property, Marta attempts to conceal evidence.

At the reading of Harlan’s will, the family discovers that he left everything to Marta. They turn on her, but Ransom helps her escape. Ransom persuades Marta to confess to him and offers to help her in exchange for his share of the inheritance. The other Thrombeys realize that, under the slayer rule, Marta will lose the inheritance if she is responsible for Harlan’s death. They try to persuade Marta to renounce her inheritance; Walt threatens to expose her mother as an undocumented immigrant.

Marta receives an anonymous blackmail note with a partial photocopy of Harlan’s toxicology report. She and Ransom drive to the medical examiner’s office, but it has been destroyed in a fire. Marta receives an email with a time and address to meet the blackmailer. When Blanc spots her and Ransom, Marta speeds away. The police catch them and arrest Ransom; Blanc explains that Harlan’s mother saw Ransom climbing down from Harlan’s room on the night of his death.

Marta goes to the address in the email and discovers Fran drugged. She performs CPR on Fran and calls 911. Marta confesses to Blanc, but Ransom has already informed on her. At the house, Marta finds a copy of the full toxicology report hidden in Fran’s cannabis stash. Marta is about to confess to the family that she caused Harlan’s death, but Blanc interrupts her after reading the report.

Blanc reveals his deductions to Marta, Ransom, and the police: After Ransom learned at the party that Harlan was leaving everything to Marta, he swapped the contents of Marta’s medication vials and stole the antidote so she would kill Harlan with an overdose of morphine, making her ineligible to claim the inheritance. However, Marta actually administered the correct medicine without reading the labels, and is therefore innocent of Harlan’s death. After the death was reported as a suicide, Ransom anonymously hired Blanc to discover Marta’s guilt. Fran later saw Ransom returning the antidote to Marta’s medical case, and sent him the blackmail note. Realizing that Marta had instinctively, but unknowingly, given Harlan the correct medication, Ransom forwarded the blackmail note to Marta. He burned down the medical examiner’s office and burned Fran’s copy of the toxicology report, destroying evidence of Marta’s innocence. Finally, he drugged Fran with morphine and emailed her location to Marta, planning to frame Marta for Fran’s murder.

In order to trick Ransom into confessing, Marta lies that Fran has survived and will implicate him; after he confesses and vows revenge, she vomits on him, revealing the lie. Enraged, he attacks her with a knife but discovers it is a retractable stage knife. As Ransom is taken into custody, Marta watches the Thrombeys from what is now her mansion.

Cast[edit]

  • Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc: a private detective called upon to investigate Harlan’s murder
  • Chris Evans as Hugh Ransom Drysdale: Harlan’s grandson, Linda and Richard’s son, and a spoiled playboy who is hated by his own family
  • Ana de Armas as Marta Cabrera: Harlan’s nurse and caretaker who had a close relationship with him
  • Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale: Harlan’s eldest daughter and Richard’s wife. She is a real estate mogul who runs her own company with her husband’s support
  • Michael Shannon as Walter “Walt” Thrombey: Harlan’s youngest son, Donna’s husband, and the CEO of his father’s publishing company
  • Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale: Harlan’s son-in-law and Linda’s husband, who helps run his wife’s company
  • Toni Collette as Joni Thrombey: a lifestyle guru and influencer and the widow of Harlan’s deceased son, Neil
  • Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Lieutenant Elliot: a local detective involved in the investigation
  • Katherine Langford as Megan “Meg” Thrombey: Harlan’s granddaughter, Joni and Neil’s daughter, who studies at a prestigious liberal arts college (Smith College)
  • Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey: Harlan’s grandson, Walt and Donna’s son, who holds alt-right views and is always on his phone
  • Christopher Plummer as Harlan Thrombey: a wealthy mystery novelist who invites his family to his 85th birthday party and is later found dead. He has three children — Linda, Walt and deceased Neil
  • Noah Segan as Trooper Wagner: a police officer involved with the investigation
  • Edi Patterson as Fran: Harlan’s housekeeper, who discovers his body
  • Riki Lindhome as Donna Thrombey: Harlan’s daughter-in-law and Walt’s wife
  • K Callan as Wanetta “Great Nana” Thrombey: Harlan’s elderly mother
  • Frank Oz as Alan Stevens: Harlan’s lawyer
  • M. Emmet Walsh as Mr. Proofroc, the groundskeeper
  • Marlene Forte as Mrs. Cabrera: Marta’s mother
  • Shyrley Rodriguez as Alice Cabrera: Marta’s sister
  • Raúl Castillo as a cop
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Detective Hardrock: Gordon-Levitt appears in a cameo role, through his voice only.

Production[edit]

Several scenes are set in Maynard, Massachusetts. The car chase scene goes through the Assabet Woolen Mill (pictured), now known as Clock Tower Place.

After making the 2005 film Brick, writer and director Rian Johnson came up with the basic concept for Knives Out.[9] In June 2010, he expressed interest in making an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery film. He told The Independent that he wanted to make the film after finishing Looper (2012).[10] However, Johnson’s next film project became Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).[11] Johnson spent seven months writing the script after finishing his press tour for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.[12]

In developing the film, Johnson cited several classic mystery thrillers and mystery comedies as influences, including The Last of Sheila, Murder on the Orient Express, Something’s Afoot, Murder by Death, Death on the Nile, The Private Eyes, The Mirror Crack’d, Evil Under the Sun, Deathtrap, Clue, and Gosford Park.[13] The 1972 version of Sleuth, a favorite “whodunit adjacent” of Johnson’s, was also an inspiration, particularly for the setting and set design, including the automata, Jolly Jack the Sailor.[14][15][16] The title was taken from the 2001 Radiohead song “Knives Out”; Johnson, a Radiohead fan, said: “Obviously, the movie has nothing to do with the song … That turn of phrase has always stuck in my head. And it just seemed like a great title for a murder mystery.”[17] The name Harlan Thrombey is taken from a 1981 Choose Your Own Adventure whodunit, Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?[18]

Knives Out was announced in September 2018, with Daniel Craig starring. It was sold to distributors during the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.[19] In October 2018, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Toni Collette joined the cast.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26] In November 2018, Christopher Plummer, Jaeden Martell, Katherine Langford, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, and Raúl Castillo joined the cast.[27][28][29] Frequent Johnson collaborator Noah Segan was announced as being in the film in December.[30][31] In March 2019, Frank Oz, who previously worked with Johnson in The Last Jedi, revealed that he would be appearing in a small role.[32] M. Emmet Walsh was cast in the film to replace Ricky Jay, who had died during production.[33]

Principal photography began on October 30, 2018, in Boston, Massachusetts and wrapped on December 20, 2018.[34][35][36] Filming locations included Easton, Marlborough, Massachusetts, Natick, Wellesley, Maynard, Massachusetts, Waltham, and Medfield.[37][38][39][40][41] The exteriors of the house were filmed at a mansion located in the Hunnewell Estates Historic District, in Wellesley and Natick, about 17 miles west of Boston.[42] The Ames Mansion in Borderland State Park, Massachusetts, was used for many interior shots.[43][42]

Nathan Johnson composed the film score. He previously worked with director Rian Johnson, who is his cousin, on Brick and Looper. The soundtrack was released on November 27, 2019 coinciding with the film’s release, by Cut Narrative Records.[44]

Release[edit]

Knives Out had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2019.[45] It was theatrically released on November 27, 2019, by Lionsgate.[46] Director Rian Johnson released an “in-theater” audio commentary for those watching the film a second time.[47]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of January 14, 2020[update], Knives Out has grossed $139.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $126 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $266 million.[5][6]

In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Queen & Slim, and was initially projected to gross $22–25 million from 3,391 theaters over its five-day opening weekend.[48] The film held advance screenings on November 22 and 23, making $2 million from 936 theaters.[49] It then made $8.5 million (including the $2 million from the screenings and $1.7 million from Tuesday night previews) and $6.8 million on Thanksgiving Day, increasing estimates to $44 million. It went on to gross $27.2 million in its opening weekend (a five-day total of $41.7 million), finishing second behind Frozen II.[50] In its second and third weekends the film made $14.2 million and $9.3 million, remaining in second then finishing third.[51][52] The film made $6.5 million in its fourth weekend and then $9.7 million in its fifth (and a total of $16.6 million over the five-day Christmas frame).[53][54]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 97% based on 414 reviews, with an average rating of 8.32/10. The website’s critics’ consensus reads: “Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson’s stellar ensemble.”[55] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 82 out of 100, based on reviews from 52 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”.[56] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A–” on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 67% saying they would definitely recommend it.[50]

David Rooney, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, described the film as an “ingeniously plotted, tremendously entertaining and deviously irreverent crowd-pleaser” and “a treat from start to finish”, praising the film’s script, the throwbacks to the murder mysteries of the 1970s, and the actors’ performances.[57] Dana Stevens of Slate wrote “Knives Out knows exactly what kind of movie it is: a sendup of twisty murder mysteries with all-star ensemble casts that also loves and respects that silly tradition.”[58] For The A.V. Club, A. A. Dowd called the film “madly entertaining” and “an ingenious sleight-of-hand crowdpleaser”.[59] David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film an A-, writing “Johnson has devised a murder-mystery that’s eager to defy your expectations, but unwilling to betray your trust. The film may be more smart than stylish, and it may opt for a reasonable outcome over an overwhelmingly shocking one, but Knives Out doesn’t let the element of surprise ruin a good story.”[60] David Sims of The Atlantic wrote that he “turned the whodunit on its head”.[61] Dani di Placido of Forbes wrote that Johnson “finds a way to revitalise the concept” and “makes murder mystery great again”.[62]

It was chosen by the American Film Institute, the National Board of Review, and Time magazine[63] as one of the top ten films of 2019 in each respective list.[64] On January 13, 2020 Knives Out received an Academy Award Best Original Screenplay nomination for Johnson. Director Edgar Wright also stated that Knives Out was his favorite film of the year and that it is “fiendishly plotted”.[65]

Accolades[edit]

Sequel[edit]

Before the release of Knives Out, Johnson said he would like to create sequels with Benoit Blanc investigating further mysteries, and already had an idea for a new film.[75] In January 2020, Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter he was developing a sequel intended to focus on Blanc investigating a new mystery, with Craig also stating interest in reprising the role.[76]

References[edit]

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  • External links[edit]

    • Official website
    • Knives Out on IMDb
    • Knives Out at Rotten Tomatoes


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    https://vimeo.com/28544157

    ” MISSING GREEN”, film shot on PIXELVISION TOY TECHNOLOGY.excerpts from a doubter’s movie testimonial:
    Joey Huertas (also known as Jane Public) has actually created a trilogy about three fictional girls who are experiencing an array of what “culture” has actually considered as emotional conditions that are damaging to themselves and others around them.

    review by Adam Zeller
    This movie continues Huertas’ exploration of camera quasi-documentaries. In this one, a therapist functions with a good friend of Erin, a student that has been missing for 11 years. As a session proceeds, the photo alters to TV “snow,” while the audio becomes combined with contrasting sounds. There is a creepy, almost adult (ideologically talking) feel to the movie. We pick up that we are intruding and also after that censored for what seems a contrived situation that we are meant to believe is real. We are continued the side in between con as well as truth, and also an uneasy side it is.

    Fact: The plaything pixelvision video camera used to make this film was acquired by LENA DUNHAM from filmmaker Joey Huertas for $100 before the release and also success of her movie, “Tiny Furniture.” Lena currently creates and also stars HBO’s program, “GIRLS.”.

    Real Life plot instance:.
    http://www.people.com/article/missing-indiana-woman-1974-found-texas.

    DOUBTER REVIEW EXCERPT:.
    This is the very first film in the trilogy,” GIRLSTORIES”. MISSING GREEN is a disturbing “ghost tale” that checks out a missing university student. As we experience this movie, we find out that this pupil has disappeared on account of her very own scientific anxiety; aesthetically put up via the usage of multiple styles including the use of PIXELVISION, a vintage children plaything camera from 1987.

    Charles Dickens said it best, “a concept, like a ghost, must be spoken with a little before it will certainly clarify itself.”.

    Currently screening at THE PASSAGE GALLERY, NY.
    http://www.purchase.edu/PassageGallery/.

    © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS). All Rights Reserved.
    Anti-piracy caution: Unauthorized copying is punishable under government legislation.

    Director JOEY HUERTAS (AKA JANE PUBLIC).