A lavish, downright horny, and faithful whodunnit that also becomes a sort of thesis statement for the character of Poirot. Whether or not you need to dig into a legendary detective character like him is up for debate, but I think Branagh succeeds in his attempt to do so.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “I must also bemoan the obvious use of CGI for wide shots of the setting while praising the interior sets where we spend most of our time in the film. Everything is impeccably just so in each little room we inhabit with these characters, as if the interior sets were designed by the detective himself.”
One of my favorite movies of the year because I visited Belfast in 2017 for a couple weeks or so and I could point out places I’d been while watching the movie… But it’s also an effective and semi-autobiographical love letter to the spirit and community of the city and its people (despite the well documented violence over those long years) with a bunch of great performances.
The cinematography is some of the most indulgent I’ve seen since, well, last week in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, but every bit of the screen is filled with life and expertly crafted. It looks fantastic, sounds fantastic, correctly conveys a child’s perspective, and sometimes characters eat those wedge cut chips/fries which make me hungry.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Did I mention I visited Belfast for a couple weeks or so in 2017? Aside from the opening and closing shots of modern Belfast (where I’ve been before (back in 2017)), the only color in the film is when the characters are watching movies on a screen or at a playhouse watching a production. It’s Branagh’s slightly heavy-handed way of showing the importance of these small escapes to him as a child, but — again — it’s wholly effective.”