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Oscar Profile: Murder on the Orient Express

“If there was a murder, then there was a murderer. The murderer is with us — and every one of you is a suspect.”

Murder on the Orient Express
20th Century Fox – 11/10
Dir: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Tom Bateman, Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom, Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin

What It’s About: A lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into the thrilling mystery of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Pros: A star-studded murder mystery full of Oscar winners and nominees based on classic material and an Oscar winning film. Plus, that moustache!

Cons: It could end up being reductive and an unnecessary remake and November is starting to fill up with awards contenders.

The Bottom Line: The original 1974 film was nominated for six Oscars and won Best Supporting Actress for Ingrid Bergman, her third. Oscar winner Cruz plays Bergman’s part in the remake so I’ll keep an eye on her. From the trailer this could be a darker, more sinister take on one of Agatha Christie’s most well-known novels and featuring her most famous character, detective Hercule Poirot (played by Branagh). A smart November release could boost its chances immensely and Costume Design and Production Design are most definitely in the mix. So is a nomination in the Screen Actors Guild Cast category. While this may not be the main Oscar shot for this cast it does help fill out their year where they have other films and roles that might land them nominations. Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe and Michelle Pfeiffer all have other films (Victoria and Abdul, The Florida Project and mother!, respectively) and this will help pad that.

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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