Dead Again

Taking a brilliant script from Scott Frank (Out of Sight), Kenneth Branagh’s supernatural, Hitchockian noir Dead Again proves that Branagh has a far greater range than just being "Mr. Go To Guy" for Shakespeare adaptations. The film stars Branagh as a Marlowe-like detective who assists a beautiful amnesiac (Emma Thompson) in finding out why she keeps having nightmares about a possible past life wherein she was murdered by a man bearing stiking resemblance to Branagh. Turning it into a bit of a ghost story, the film has two fascinating mysteries going at once—the old 1940’s murder and the events between Branagh and Thompson today (black and white cinematography aids in keeping the past events separate from the colorful present). The film will keep audiences guessing right to the very end and look for cool tiny cameos and performances by Robin Williams, Campbell Scott, and Andy Garcia. It is a bit on the scary side but adding a supernatural tone to noir helps reinvent the genre and pay homage to Hitchcock’s psychological noirs like Spellbound. The partnership of Branagh and Thompson created many wonderful works during their marriage but in my mind, this is the forgotten gem that seemed to have been overshadowed by their brilliant Shakespearean adaptations like Much Ado About Nothing.