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  • Writer's pictureBackyard Writer

'Knives Out' prods me forward

Updated: Feb 2, 2021

For a multitude of reasons (distance, work the day before and/or day after, familial aggravation), the husband and I spend pretty much every Christmas Day on our own. For about five years now, we've spent this tinseled-up holiday catching up on much-needed sleep and going to see a movie.

This year, we saw "Knives Out." Yes, I'm about a month late to this film, as I am about a month or so late to everything. Unfortunately, I've been spending most of my time writing for a paycheck rather than writing for myself. That's my reality. In any case, the movie was perfect.

This is not a movie review, but rather, one star-struck writer's bow to "whodunit" genre parents like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie and the film creator Rian Johnson. I was so enthralled, from the very first moment, by the nod to the greats that was ingeniously intertwined with our current realities: dogs who judge character vs. modern technology that has no need for gut instinct; the concept of "self-made" blurred by what version of the "truth" you hear (or choose to hear); and, the privileged - regardless of how they paint themselves politically - ultimately turning on the vulnerable and terrified and getting their heritage incorrect at every turn.

There's a really satisfying end where someone's on top and the others are on the bottom - with a Spencer's Gifts-type mug that says it all:

My House

My Rules

My Coffee

This kind of movie reminds me why I wanted to become a writer and why I care about the intricacies of storytelling. Please take a couple of hours to go see it; you won't be disappointed, and I hope the commentary on our current sociopolitical situation isn't lost on you.


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