Something incredible happens in the middle of Rian Johnson’s new whodunit Knives Out. You think you know all of the twists and turns. Much has already been revealed. You’ve already heard Daniel Craig talk with an incredible Southern accent. But then, he starts chatting about doughnuts, holes, and doughnut holes.
The monologue lasts for about three minutes, but it remains the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater in 2019. Craig gives everything he has to play detective Benoit Blanc, the famed sleuth with a French name, a molasses accent, and a nose for the truth. Craig himself looks to be having a Logan Lucky amount of fun, another film featuring an accent from the Englishman. Just watch 30 seconds of this clip.
Pretty incredible, right? Now multiply that by a million and you’ll get Craig’s accent in Knives Out. Watching an actor who plays James Bond speak with such silly freedom and joy cannot be understated.
Craig’s counterparts join in on the fun, though. Johnson’s cast fills your heart with stars of varying degrees taking their familial roles seriously, regardless of the absurdity surrounding them. You can’t help but smile along with Craig, and you assume that Johnson is smiling behind the camera as well.
Knives Out is an oddity, though: a murder mystery that stays coherent until the final shot, a riotous one at that. Though Craig shines, Ana de Armas steals scenes, giving a warm and thoughtful performance throughout the film. The rest of the family, a solid Jamie Lee Curtis, a hilarious Toni Collette, a terrifying Michael Shannon, and a jaded Chris Evans fill in the gaps.
The cast reaches near perfection, and we have casting director Mary Vernieu to thank. Not enough casting directors get thanked in articles. So, Mary, this one’s for you. With nearly 400 credits to her name, Mary Vernieu was the casting director on 27 films and series this year, including HBO’s Euphoria, The Beach Bum, Dolemite Is My Name, and even John Wick 3: Parabellum. No doubt that she is one of the best in the business.
Quick aside: Craig’s accent most closely aligns with another comedic performance for the ages: the beloved but sometimes hated Andy Bernard of The Office.
To see Craig’s accent as well as this entire cast having a ball, I implore you to see Knives Out in theaters. If you’re in a somewhat full theater, the audience helps carry you along, providing ample laughters for you and everyone around you. You can bring your whole family, as Johnson’s film provides something for everyone. The movie itself is a family affair, and seeing it should be the same.
Watching this film felt like an experience. People showed up to the theater 15 minutes early to get a seat, everyone had popcorn, and there wasn’t a cellphone in sight. It enveloped me, my fellow moviegoers, and the entire theater in its enjoyable and intriguing mystery, a rare accomplishment.
The act of going to the movies should be fun. You need to leave happy that you spent two hours in that dark room, glad to have left the house and spent a bit of money. Knives Out checks each and every one of those boxes.