Saturday, January 06, 2007

Movie Log: Kind Hearts and Coronets

The Wife and I watched Kind Hearts and Coronets on New Year's Eve, because I'd put it on top of my Netflix queue. (After the debacle of But I'm a Cheerleader!, I wanted a guaranteed funny comedy.)

And, again, it's been a week, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. It didn't start out as funny as I hoped it would, but it settles into a low-key black comedy at about the half-hour mark, and goes along nicely in that vein. I'd hoped for one last twist at the end, but I guess even a black comedy couldn't have a woman murdering her husband (for gain, and getting away with it) in 1947.

Oh, just in case you don't know: this is a British comedy, made just after the war, in black and white, about a young man who murders his way into a dukedom (the film opens with him to be hung for murder the next day, so this is no spoiler). All eight of the people he kills are played by Alec Guinness.

There's a notable extramarital affair in this movie which contrasts interestingly with the one in The Painted Veil (which is set in roughly the same time period -- it's not entirely clear to me when Kind Hearts is supposed to be set, but it feels inter-war).

If you don't expect a laugh-riot comedy of the modern school, and like black comedy, you'll probably enjoy this. It does start slowly (as if it were a straight interwar family saga), but that's just to set the knife.

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