Glass Onion: Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is a cut above Hollywood’s usual insipid queerbaiting

W saidEveryone loves a mystery. That is the great joy of a whodunnit, after all. Tell the audience it’s murder, stick a bunch of shifty archetypes in a room, and keep pulling the strings until the whole thing comes loose. It’s an old genre that has had an irresistible comeback in recent years, with Rian Johnson’s slick, fun 2019 puzzler. The knives are out living between the same activities Murder on the Orient Express, Murder mystery a See how they run at the peak of the whodunnaissance. But Johnson knows that when it comes to some things — like your main character’s sexuality in a new movie franchise — mystery just won’t cut it.

The knives are out Daniel Craig is known for playing Benoit Blanc, a leftist private eye brought in to solve the murder of a wealthy crime reporter. Continuing a long tradition of preternaturally protective sleuths, from Sherlock to Columbo, Blanc (in part through Craig’s delightful sense of humor) nevertheless manages to be a breakout character and a worthy role model. This week it appears that Blanc is coming back Crystal Wind: A Mysterious Knife, an independent sequel that challenges the genre with a new batch of eccentric killers. In the movie, Blanc is shown living with another man (played in a cameo by a very popular movie star). At a press conference before the film premiered last month, Johnson, who wrote the script, was asked if the character was queer. “Yes, of course he is,” came the reply.

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Now, on the other hand, this campaign is seen as a re-discovery of the “revealing” style and execution that is spreading in the big media franchises. (It’s often called “queerbaiting”.) You see it happen all too often: a filmmaker, or an actor, tells this or that celebrity that he’s canonically queer, while denying it. trying to show this in the work itself. Consider Donald Glover’s “pansexual” Lando Calrissian Solo: A Star Wars Story. Ryan Reynolds “pansexual” Deadpool. Marvel’s Loki, whose bisexuality has been celebrated on the screen until now in a line of dialogue. Little known films have tried to get into the hustle: one may remember the embarrassing attempts to ballyhoo Jack Whitehall’s gay side at Disney’s Wild forest? It’s a true disease in the mainstream film industry: studios are eager for the hype of success (and the money that flows from it) but don’t want to take the risk with queer-centred stories. That’s how it is Glass window totally different?

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Well, maybe not. It’s true that the film doesn’t struggle to explain Blanc’s sexuality; his partner can be registered as a cohabitant. Like everyone else, this person called him “Blanc” – a joke, but, to the critical eye, a clever deception. Blanc’s beauty, however, is on screen: in the way she dresses (especially in this balmy Greek island setting) and in some of her interpersonal roles. Glass window It sounds like something straight out of the Hollywood queerbaiting playbook, but there’s something different about Blanc. He reads like queer in a way that, say, Deadpool isn’t.

What might separate it from other similar movies? It’s Deadpool or otherwise Thor: Love and thunder that’s just how good his writing is. Blanc is unique and thoughtful; despite the views of the Glass windowThe idea is that you always have a clear understanding of Blanc’s character, his values. The problem with, say, Deadpool or Lando Calrissian being considered queer is that they don’t feel like people. It’s not that they’re straight per se, but they’re not sexual: they’re quip-giving machines that aren’t limited to sorting through computer graphics. If what I’m looking at is a guy shooting lasers into falling debris saying, “so that I can’t handle what they want sexually, of course.

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There is a sense that, in Benoit Blanc, we are witnessing the rise of an original film genre with eternal potential. In an industry full of franchises and adaptations – where “existing IP” is not a buzzword but a collective religion – The knives are out a rarity as a true commercial performer. When the news came that Netflix was spending $450m on two sequels, it could be seen as a capitulation to the new “bleed-’em-dry” franchise concept. But it was welcomed as a compliment: Johnson and Craig have hit something good, and who knows where it will lead?

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig in ‘Knives Out’

(Claire Folger)

Blanc follows a long tradition of screen sleuths, one of the most beloved and enduring characters in fiction: characters like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Columbo. They’re all right, of course. (In 2015, Benedict Cumberbatch suggested that his version of Sherlock might be gay, though this theory was quickly abandoned.) Blanc’s sexuality may be what separates him from the pack — and not his only appearance. , but maybe. a single description.

Ultimately, queer representation is stifled by some harsh realities of the modern film industry – not the least of which is a regressive heart when it comes to sexuality in general. Not really going to change anything about that. But who knows? Maybe 30 years from now, Benoit Blanc will be a household name. For now, at least, we make do with what we’ve got – a heart-warming idea that critical narrative accuracy doesn’t have to be the default.

‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is in theaters until November 29, before arriving on Netflix on December 23.

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