MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton, Olivia Colman, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfieffer, Daisy Ridley.
Dir: Kenneth Branagh.
An adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel in which Hercule Poirot travels in the titular train with a group of characters and then suddenly, a murder is committed but by who? I already know the answer, having already seen the Sidney Lumet version. I wasn't the biggest fan of the previous film so I have no attachment to it. That being said, this film doesn't really add anything at all to the story except maybe a more modern slickness in terms of visuals and flavor. There's nothing much more to add on what's essentially a whodunit type mystery. The cast is pretty strong and are undeniably fun to watch in this context. Ultimately, it's not a bad film, just a forgettably competent one.
Oscar Prospects: Production Design, Costume Design, Original Score and Original Song are possibilities.
Cast: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Daveed Diggs, Sonia Braga, Noah Jupe, Danielle Rose Russell, Millie Davis, Nadji Jeter, Elle McKinnon, Bryce Gheisar.
Dir: Stephen Chbosky.
Based on the young adult novel, this is about Auggie Pullman who was born with facial deformities that required him lots of surgeries, making him look different and he goes to school for the first time. Upon hearing about this and watching the trailer, it seems like this would fall into the trap of sickly sentimentality and preachiness. Thankfully, it minimizes both and delivers a truly touching heartfelt drama, tempering it with humor and honesty to earn its tears. The performances are all pitch perfect. Jacob Tremblay proves that Room wasn't a fluke. The film is actually more of an ensemble piece than I thought it was with nearly every supporting character getting an arc. It's this type of movie done right.
Oscar Prospects: Its surprise box-office success might get it some notice. Makeup & Hairstyling definitely. Supporting Actress (Julia Roberts) and Adapted Screenplay are not out of the question.