And now, murder. Except you have to say it like Kenneth Branagh, all drawn out, whispery and in a hilariously hammy accent.
Would you like a serving of opinions now? Because – surprise! – we find ourselves forming a lot of them. Branagh directed himself as Poirot for 2017’s Murder on the Orient express and it was … a perfectly fine film to stumble across on HBO on a rainy Saturday 9 months after its release. It wasn’t going to make the top of anyone’s list of best Agatha Christie adaptations, but it’s never not fun to see a bunch of movie stars in gorgeous period costumes plot and scheme with each other. Which brings us to our next point: this is quite the unexpected cast.
It feels like Branagh went for his personal dream cast rather than picking everyone on Hollywood’s A list. We can take or leave (mostly leave) Russell Brand, but French and Saunders? Now we HAVE to watch it. Also happy to see Rose Leslie in there because we always felt she was one of a small handful of Game of Thrones cast members who deserved movie stardom. The girl’s got charisma. We wish people would stop casting Armie Hammer as beautiful upper class men in period pieces. We know he’s got the perfect look for it, but it’s such a dull choice at this point. Gal Gadot deserves to star in something that doesn’t require ten months of diet and fight training, so we’re happy to see her here, especially because she looks amazing in 1930s fashion.
It all looks very beautiful and expensive, but as with his adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, we find attempts to modernize or sex up Agatha Christie mysteries to be a bit misguided. She was so very of her time and was quite good at capturing English social conventions of the day. That’s partly why she’s maintained her status as one of the all-time greats for a century now. We realize these stories have been adapted so many times that any new version practically begs for some modernity, but we think we’d have rather seen someone take a classic Christie novel and set it in the present day rather than this hybrid approach of period setting with modern directorial and literary conventions.
Also: Where is our modern Miss Marple adaptation, dammit? Judi Dench is sitting RIGHT THERE, Hollywood.
Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement. “Death on the Nile” reunites the filmmaking team behind 2017’s global hit “Murder on the Orient Express,” and stars five-time Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh as the iconic detective Hercule Poirot. He is joined by an all-star cast of suspects, including: Tom Bateman, four-time Oscar® nominee Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders and Letitia Wright.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios – Video Credit: 20th Century Studios via YouTube]
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