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Knives Out | Spoiler Thread | Whodonut?

Ottaro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
973
A couple small things I noticed on my second watch that I missed on the first watch: When Linda is recalling the memory of the birthday cake being lowered in front of her father, she and her husband are the ones behind him, smiling. But when Walt is recalling the same memory he is imagining himself and his wife and son behind Harlan, smiling.

Also, when Linda’s husband is describing Marta to the detectives he says she is like one of the family and it flashes to a moment during the party when everyone turns around to beckon her, everyone smiling warmly and inviting. Whereas when Marta recalls that moment later it was the same moment when she was about to be used as a prop in the family’s immigration argument. No one looks warm or inviting anymore and it takes on the reality of that sinister moment.

Maybe these were obvious, but the changes slipped by me on first viewing.
 
Linda couldn’t be entirely self sufficient after the way she acted when the Will was read. Ransom was entirely dependent on Harlan’s money. Cutting Joni off for stealing was justified, but that tuition money seemed highly egregious. And not only did Harlan make Walt dependent on him, he also admittedly thought him beneath him.
Linda was independently rich, that doesn't mean she wouldn't want even more (indeed, that's usually the case).

Ransom's money wasn't coming from Harlan, it was coming from his parents. Harlan just told him that he wouldn't be inheriting anything from Harlan.

What was egregious about the tuition?
 

Opto

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,925
Did I see a money stack in Richard's hand when the cop was dragging away Ransom?
 

Zoe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,627
Now that I think of it, did Linda even react to them dragging Ransom away? She seemed satisfied.

Until she read the letter, of course, and gave her husband a black eye.
 

Shaun Solo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
520
Absolutely loved this. What a satisfying af movie. From the plot reveals to the comeuppance of those rich pricks to Ana De Armas’s stellar performance. Just satisfying.

Choosing to dispense with the mystery of Marta’s involvement and the nature of Harlan’s death early on was so great. It really made the rest of the movie feel like it could go anywhere.

The second you hear Richard say Marta was from Paraguay (contradicting Linda saying she’s from Ecuador) you realize how fake these motherfuckers are. Even the “allies” like Meg. I loved Blanc’s line about Marta succeeding by playing the game her way: by being a good person.

Great film.
 

Ross62

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,946
Linda was independently rich, that doesn't mean she wouldn't want even more (indeed, that's usually the case).

Ransom's money wasn't coming from Harlan, it was coming from his parents. Harlan just told him that he wouldn't be inheriting anything from Harlan.

What was egregious about the tuition?
I can’t imagine college costing 40,000 or 400,000 each year.

I do think Ransom was getting money from his parents because they said that Harlan was paying off the car. And the conversation the will reading would be weird if his parents were paying for his lifestyle. I can’t imagine his parents stop funding him and wanting him to be independent because Harlan didn’t leave him anything.
 
I’m still unsure because I thought he said 400,000 even though 40,000 seems more correct.
He said $100,000 per year, I believe. Maybe assume he's counting living expenses as well, but I'd guess Johnson just threw in a big number (it's not like all the little details in this movie are especially accurate -- he has a lawyer say he had to be specifically asked not to submit the will to probate until Harlan was dead, for instance).
 

Jest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,521
Honestly fuck Harlan too. Raising them to be tit-suckers and then expecting them to be self sufficient on there own? Is he serious? That whole family was dependent on you by YOUR design and now you want them to be self reliant out of the blue?
The film definitely doesn't want to leave you with the impression that Harlan was a great guy or anything. He clearly fucked up, and him cutting the family off was his effort to make up for his mistakes in life, but like Blanc says, Marta won out in the end by being a totally different, better person than anyone in that family - including Harlan.

But he has to be a kind old fatherly figure to Marta first and foremost so you don't question why she put faith in him, so the whole "Harlan's an ass" thing isn't pressed too hard.
Here's the thing that I think I take a bit of a different impression of than most in the thread so far. It really doesn't showcase Harlan as a bad guy at all in the end. He was a bit of a dick in the way he notified the family that he was cutting them off but even that isn't bad considering the quality of the character of those family members. I honestly am not at all upset about Harlan's choices with his kids (at least his direct kids) before cutting them off.

To me, Harlan comes across as a representation of the Greatest Generation. He wasn't trying to shelter his kid so much as give them the tools to succeed. That they ended up taking that for granted and becoming shitty isn't a result of his giving them help but of some other element of their upbringing. The Eldest daughter took the seed money and made a successful business. The youngest son ran the publication company successfully. Joni isn't on him at all. Ransom is definitely the result of his turning a blind eye to who Ransom was becoming by being completely sheltered. And that I see more as a personal failing and I believe the film showcases that Ransom is Harlan's greatest regret.

I also really enjoyed how they showcased the similarity between Ransom and Harlan in both the more obvious way that they were "outplayed" by Marta when she's not even trying to play a game but also the more subtle mirroring in that Harlan used his clever mind to write Mystery books and attempt to HELP Marta stay out of trouble for what was just a sad accident while Ransom used his to try to commit a murder and frame Marta for it. The actual murder by Ransom and the plan for disguising the death by Harlan were exactly the same with Ransom being clever enough to avoid the cameras, the muddy path, and not damaging the trellis. It was a really great touch.

I really enjoyed this and I'm glad that the allegory wasn't shown blatantly in the trailers. I also really appreciate that the film went the route of putting all the clues necessary to "solve" the mystery right there in the open.
 

reKon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,776
Loved almost every second of this. The film delivered in terms of the moment to moment scenes and walking through how this all came together.

Rian won.
 

Speculator

Member
Oct 30, 2017
35
Austin
Went in with low-ish expectations because of the trailers (though Im on the boat of liking Last Jedi), but it was an Incredible film with one of the best ensemble casts on screen.

“The Last Jedi” of murder-mystery movies.

Like TLJ, KO seems to exist to subvert tropes of it’s genre. But the movie wasn’t as smart as it thought it was. Seemingly the lack of a twist was the major twist. A suicide remained a suicide. Chris Evans entered the movie as the likeliest suspect of the “murder” and it pretty much ran a straight line back to him by the end.

Personal opinion but the lack of surprise should not be the surprise.

Maybe a better “twist = no twist” would have been the closing shot of Marta drinking from the “My house. My coffee. My rules.” mug and then she giving a subtle smile before cutting to credits. The realization that Marta was in fact the “murderer”. And the murder weapon? The family’s greed.

The movies continually establishes that the family kept fucking themselves over and then further by attempting to amend with greed. And Marta is the innocent girl who accidentally “kills” and then spends the movie trying to lie and obstruct the truth. That then she would be revealed to have used the family’s greed as a tool to con them out of their own fortune and fool the maybe-not-as-good-as-he-thinks-he-is legendary detective with her “good heart”.

IDK feels like Marta actually being the bad guy would have worked better to subvert murder-mystery tropes than pretty much knowing the whole story in the first 20-30 mins and then waiting for the movie to get there.
Partway through the film I thought she might've been an actual mastermind killer, but that would go against one of the core themes of the film and position Marta as an immigrant murderer (with an undocumented mother)...completely justifying the alt right mentality of some of Harlan's family and also normalizing those ideas to audiences. That'd be a terrible direction to go.
 

Denman

Member
Apr 21, 2018
3,345
Really fun film, but it still pains me that Harlan killed himself over nothing. The fact that Fran was only murdered for catching Ransom cover his tracks, it almost feels like there really wasn't any deeper, sinister motives behind everything.

I guess I was expecting a much bigger cover-up or twist, but the more I think about it, the more contrived my expectation would have been, and how almost believable the fun to follow the final result was.

Really an excellent film. Could have lasted another entire. Stellar cast. Casting of the year? I think so.
 

zoabs

Avenger
May 7, 2018
314
Partway through the film I thought she might've been an actual mastermind killer, but that would go against one of the core themes of the film and position Marta as an immigrant murderer (with an undocumented mother)...completely justifying the alt right mentality of some of Harlan's family and also normalizing those ideas to audiences. That'd be a terrible direction to go.

Agreed. Marta being the (conniving) murderer would’ve really soured me on the movie. I do think the suicide twist should’ve been the twist. You’d have to rewrite a lot of the movie, but that was the most interesting “twist” and part of the movie. I feel like the mystery, for me, just died there and I really didn’t care about the rest of the mystery with Ransom.
 

Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,864
Just came out of it. Good, not great. Favourite sequence by far was the first questioning of Marta.
 

DontMindMe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11
There is one bit I didn’t pick up til I saw it mentioned elsewhere.

Harlan paid FIVE years of Meg’s tuition up til that point.
 

DontMindMe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
11
...So there really was no reason for meg to have turned on marta. Fucking hell
It makes me wonder what Meg was after if she had still not graduated after five years...
1. Was she in on the scheme to keep double dipping, which would end on graduation?
2. Wanted to keep living the college life?

Edit: But #2 doesn’t explain revealing info on Marta’s mother after Marta offered to help on phone. Unless it really was just pressure from family.
 
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PSOreo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
594
I expected to love this but I just enjoyed it. I expected more of a traditional scenario where they try to figure out who the killer was. Some of the results were a little obvious but the journey there was fun and the political commentary was spot on.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
16,459
Greater Vancouver
Yo this fucking ruled.

The family all incorrectly stating where she was from got a good chuckle for me. The entire cast is so good, and Craig is just so wonderfully overthetop. Awesomely paced, so much energy, some great little character details.

Had a real fun ass time with this. Parasite is still maybe my favorite movie this year, but this is close.
 
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Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
16,459
Greater Vancouver
Pretty much, this. Not necessarily Marta, but this genre should have more twists. This was way too straight forward and predictable as soon as they show Marta "killing" the patriarch and focus way too much on her being the killer and thwarting the detective. I guess I like these to be about the detective solving the crime. 🤷‍♂️
Watch Columbo, where the joy is entirely around watching the guilty party squirm in fear as they walls close in around them. That's entirely what the back 2/3rds of this plays like.
 

Shugga

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,730
Yeah the movie reminded me of Columbo. You know very early who tf did it but it's the interactions that are good.
 

JediTimeBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,214
So since Blanc said he knew of Marta's involvement from the beginning, was he just pretending to bumble around and missing clues here and there (the ones Marta was trying to cover up) ?
 

Doorman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,217
Michigan
Saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it. A couple of people have mentioned "satisfying" as a reaction and I agree. That final shot is just so "chef's kiss" cathartic. It was also great seeing the different characters' renditions and recollections of events, the interviews early in the movie were great for showing some of everyone's true colors early, before it all truly comes out once Marta becomes the center of it all.

My only disappointment with it is that the revelation of Ransom's involvement and his motive felt like it was almost too simple to warrant the level of complexity of how everything played out. Everyone else in the family fingered him as a shitty hotheaded kid who had everything handed to him for no reason, and that...turned out to be entirely right. I felt like he didn't really have as much to lose as the other family members, but I guess that's where his feeling of birthright spoken of in the ending comes into play.

I also felt like Marta barfing when she lies felt like a really weird and contrived condition, but it was necessary for the plot to work. Still, is there any basis for that being a real thing?
 

Coldman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
487
So since Blanc said he knew of Marta's involvement from the beginning, was he just pretending to bumble around and missing clues here and there (the ones Marta was trying to cover up) ?
He says himself "you have nothing to gain from Harlan's death". So that's enough for him to sit back and see how things play out.
 

JediTimeBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,214
He says himself "you have nothing to gain from Harlan's death". So that's enough for him to sit back and see how things play out.
So stuff like happening to be distracted when Marta throws that broken piece of the wooden frame, was that genuine or him sitting back. I'm guessing he knew Marta was trying to cover up her own foot prints ?
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,865
Singapore
So stuff like happening to be distracted when Marta throws that broken piece of the wooden frame, was that genuine or him sitting back. I'm guessing he knew Marta was trying to cover up her own foot prints ?
He knew everything. he noticed the blood on her shoes, he would know she's the only one who could have wiped the VHS tape, he expected she covering up her footprints, etc. She's a really bad liar even without her medical condition. What makes it fun is that he also wanted to see how far she would take it because he wanted to see what her ultimate intent was. If she played the game "their" way and tried to be a bad person covering stuff up, she would have lost really easily. She only ended up ahead because she was really a good person deep down and she stopped pretending to be someone she's not.

LIke Craig said to the great-grandma, the truth is black and white, but the grey lies in what you do with the truth after you have it. Facts are one thing, seeing the complexities of what the facts mean is what he felt his job as a detective really was.
 

duckroll

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,865
Singapore
This movie really ROCKED btw. Watched it on Friday and I'm recommending it to everyone. So fun and the script was GREAT. Rian Johnson is a smart cookie.
 

JediTimeBoy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,214
He knew everything. he noticed the blood on her shoes, he would know she's the only one who could have wiped the VHS tape, he expected she covering up her footprints, etc. She's a really bad liar even without her medical condition. What makes it fun is that he also wanted to see how far she would take it because he wanted to see what her ultimate intent was. If she played the game "their" way and tried to be a bad person covering stuff up, she would have lost really easily. She only ended up ahead because she was really a good person deep down and she stopped pretending to be someone she's not.

LIke Craig said to the great-grandma, the truth is black and white, but the grey lies in what you do with the truth after you have it. Facts are one thing, seeing the complexities of what the facts mean is what he felt his job as a detective really was.
I really hope there's a sequel with Blanc. Not sure if it would work, but I guess depending on another all star cast, and the plot, it could.
 

chairhome

Member
Oct 27, 2017
631
Orlando
Did anyone notice Joseph Gordon Leavitt? My wife noticed his name in the credits as Detective Hardrock. I'm guessing he's one of the guys taking Ransom away at the end. I know him and Rian are buddies since Brick
 

excelsiorlef

Member
Oct 25, 2017
40,871
Did anyone notice Joseph Gordon Leavitt? My wife noticed his name in the credits as Detective Hardrock. I'm guessing he's one of the guys taking Ransom away at the end. I know him and Rian are buddies since Brick
Pretty sure he was the Noir Detective voice in the unseen TV Show/Movie Marta's sister was watching that her mother asked to turn off
 

Jedi2016

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,799
Did anyone notice Joseph Gordon Leavitt? My wife noticed his name in the credits as Detective Hardrock. I'm guessing he's one of the guys taking Ransom away at the end. I know him and Rian are buddies since Brick
I think it's just a voice cameo as a detective on TV, I don't think he saw any screen time.

I also just found out he was in TLJ, as the voice of the guy on the beach.
 

Ottaro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
973
What I love about Blanc is that his strength as a detective isn’t that he is a supergenius, but rather that he is patient.
He does seem genuinely surprised by some events, which makes sense because he describes his method as being a passive observer of the truth. He’s just looking at the arc and trying to plant himself where the truth lands. He saw the blood spatter on Marta’s shoe but sat back and let everything fall into place until it made sense.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
16,459
Greater Vancouver
Even the supposedly liberal daughter provides information to her family that could put Marta's mother at risk of deportation, knowing full-well at how illegal immigrants are treated by the US government, all for her tuition. And even after Marta expresses that she's willing to help her, the daughter immediately hangs up once she knows she's getting what she wants.

That whole family fucking suuuuuuuuucks.
 

Admiral Woofington

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
10,960
There is one bit I didn’t pick up til I saw it mentioned elsewhere.

Harlan paid FIVE years of Meg’s tuition up til that point.
This could also always be shes a student taking her sweet time to graduate or changing majors often. I graduated from a bachelor's in 5 years because I switched majors late in my junior year. I don't think they ever outright specified if she's an undergrad or doing a masters did they? Cause if so she could have always gone straight to a masters degree. 5 years just tells me she's not someone who had their path and goals to be a straight shot.

There is absolutely no denying the poetry that the white feminist studying something related treats the immigrant woman badly and betrays her though.
 

Khanimus

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
16,459
Greater Vancouver
Also there was a moment that just had me oozing with disgust. It wasn't big, but it was a gesture that, almost on its own, tells you everything you need to know. When the family is around the fireplace talking immigration and Trump, when Random's dad pulls Marta over, a girl who is "treated like family" and who he is now using as a prop for his argument as an example of "one of the good ones." As he is making his shitty point, without even looking or asking, he gestures his empty plate to Marta as if she's his maid. Not even "oh are you going back to the kitchen? Do you mind taking this?" He just hands it to her as if it is an expectation of her job, which it clearly is not. She neither works for him or anyone else but Harlan.

Like, you could turn the audio off in that moment, ignore every other shitty thing being said by this family, and that gesture tells you exactly how he views the power dynamics. I was just like "oh fuuuuuuck youuuuuu"