7:00 PM, 7th April, 2018
This is a tale about a murder, most foul, upon a train, most exquisite. It is the latest cinematic interpretation of the Agatha Christie novel featuring Hercule Poirot, with Kenneth Branagh at the helm as both director and in the role of the famed Belgian detective. He also sports quite the impressive moustache!
Poirot has the curse of seeing the world in black and white, with irregularities jumping out from the natural order of things in his mind. When he accepts an innocent ride on the Orient Express, he finds himself faced with a crime with many irregularities that do not make sense, which baffles the great mind and moustache of Poirot.
There is much beauty in this adaptation – and a very impressive cast! But even more impressive is the cinematography, with the camera flying through the sky above the train and weaving through its elaborate carriages. The mystery unfurls at a slower pace than modern crime dramas, but I appreciated the slow, intriguing reveal of new clues amounting to the revelation of the truth. It’s a must-see on the big screen for the landscapes and to take in what should be this year’s Academy Award winner for Best Facial Hair. (Is that a category yet?).
9:04 PM, 7th April, 2018
A. A. Milne (Gleeson) has returned from World War II to resume his writing career, but is suffering from shell shock and finds regular life hard after the horrors he has witnessed. He moves his wife (Robbie) and young son (Tilston) to the countryside, hires a new governess (Macdonald), and focuses on his new project, one that will evolve into the much-loved adventures of the residents of The Hundred Acre Wood.
The trailer for Goodbye Christopher Robin may have you expecting a light touch. However, the film has a slightly darker tone overall, that the trailer (I assume) intentionally underplays. The effects of fame on childhood, the symptoms of post traumatic stress, and the grief of parents losing their children to war are all addressed here.
It’s also a movie I had low expectations for, given it was from the director of the awful Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren, from a few years back. I was pleasantly surprised, however, and I think the key to the success of the film is the writing, which manages to portray the dark themes with gravitas and a lack of over-sentimentality. In a very British way, if you will.
“Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.” Indeed, Pooh, indeed.