Sidney Lumet was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Director for his work on the 1974 version of this film, adapted famously from one of Agatha Christie’s many mysteries. Working with an all star cast, the wise director built the film around the brilliant lead performance of Albert Finley as detective Hercule Poiret. The beautiful looking film, stunning art direction was a hit with critics and audiences, winning Ingrid Bergman a third Oscar, this one for supporting actress.
The first question with such a film is did we need a remake?
Second, are they true to the novel?
Finally, can a film such as this find an audience with today’s audiences?
First, why not? Great source material so why not bring it to a new generation. Second, yes. Third, that remains to be seen. The film has something fairly substantial to overcome to find that audience.
Kenneth Branagh is a gifted actor and director who has brought some of the greatest Shakespearean adaptations to the screen, the best being his four hour, full text Hamlet (1996) and his extraordinary debut Henry V (1989). Gritty and real, he gave his films an intimacy and bold sweep that had previously not existed. Under his direction the Shakespearean text sprung to vivid life, becoming more accessible than ever before, the visuals startling in the cinematic genius. His career has gone up and down lately, up with his beautiful Disney film Cinderella (2015) and down with the silly Thor (2013).