Director/writer Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is an old-fashioned whodunit with lots of humor and very modern social themes.
The tale of a wealthy patriarch (Christopher Plummer) who dies mysteriously leaving his mostly greedy offspring to argue over the estate, is rife for discussion for around the dinner table this Thanksgiving in that it tackles issues of social class, race, wealth disparity, privilege, and immigration.
It also boasts a star-studded cast that includes Daniel Craig Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, and Jaeden Martell.
Star of Love Simon and 13 Reasons Why, Langford called her Knives Out mom Collette a “national treasure” in an interview with The Advocate. Meanwhile, Martell, best known for the It movies based on Stephen King’s novel, was excited to work with his Knives Out dad Shannon again.
The film is loaded with the twists and turns standard in murder mysteries, but Knives Out also does a deep dive into immigration and class issues in which the white wealthy family members consider themselves evolved for referring to Harlan’s nurse Marta (de Armas) as one of the family while also conflating her home country with several Latin American countries.
“It’s been really interesting seeing how politically aware and socially aware, particularly, younger generations are and want to be,” Langford tells the Advocate. “Collectively, as a world, were all more connected because of social media that you kind of have to be aware about everything going on.”
“I feel really lucky to have been a part of the projects I’ve been a part of so far — touching on things like mental health, LGBTQ rights. It means a lot to me when I get to be a part of a film that says something and is entertaining but is [also] able to say something,” she adds.
Martell is also proud to be a part of the project in part because of the issues it addresses.
“That’s why we make movies is to tell an important story that not only people can relate to or have fun watching but that can inspire people,” he says. “Hopefully this movie helps people see the issues that are very current in our society and America in regard to immigration, race.”
“It’s such an important topic to talk about and I feel very lucky that I’m able to be a part of something that gives it a voice,” Martell says.
Watch the interview below. Knives Out is currently in theaters.