I know, I know. When a film critic recommends a period piece, you cringe a little bit. You ask yourself, “Is this some art-house garbage I’ll have to pretend to like to seem cultured in front of my wife’s work friend Janice?”
Well guess what, friend? Now you’ve got a perfectly good film to talk about at the holiday party that won’t make Janice scoff like she did when you told her you liked The Goonies.
Welcome to Murder on the Orient Express. Sure, you’ll spend half the movie focusing on Kenneth Branagh’s ridiculous double mustache, but if you look past the absurd facial hair you’ll find a tense, twisting thriller that will keep you guessing. A high point of the film structurally is it doesn’t suffer from the TV mystery problem–the entire cast is famous enough that anyone could be the victim, and anyone could be the murderer. The plot is a slow burn that comes to a boiling point for a climax fraught with suspense and passion.
So while you’ve never been in a first-class train car, and you might relate most to the train director who loves wine, you’ll still enjoy the movie. And with any luck, you’ll be able to ruin the ending for Janice.
Eat my shorts, Janice