What a waste of the magnificent cast and material. Michelle Pfeiffer is probably the only one who is allowed to shine, and even that is surprising considering how hard Branagh is working to keep all the attention on himself. The long pan along the train with the Poirot meet-and-greets is a real cinematographic standout though - just wonderful.
There are two immediate hooks in the opening scene of 2014 Irish drama Calvary. The first one sets up the central suspense that will quietly hang over the rest of the film, and will go almost unmentioned again until its dramatic resolution at the very end. The second hook, and arguably the more powerful one, is Brendan Gleeson’s face. The marvellously expressive wrinkles, the beautiful beard - almost unlikely in its tameness and softness - the sad, tired and infinitely…
Obviously, Scorsese can put a film together with aplomb, and some of the footage and music juxtapositions here are spectacular, but mostly this is a very conservative affair and hagiographic to the bone. It's a shame that it completely brushes over some of the most significant aspects of Harrison's life (his marriages, his drug addiction) so as not to complicate the flawless image Scorsese is trying to paint. I enjoyed the film while it lasted, but I am left with very little to dwell or to chew on.