My guilty pleasure is an awfully melodramatic movie called “Dead Again” directed by and starring my man Kenneth Branagh. I think he was in a phase where he thought he could be Orson Welles or Alfred Hitchcock; there are certainly echoes of both men in the film. It’s an over the top noir that switches back and forth in time between glamorous old Hollywood of the late 1940s and “present day” L.A. (then early 1990s).
I think I said that this movie is awful. It’s not completely awful, just in parts. Branagh attempts, with uneven success, a couple of accents. Everybody over-emotes, at times as badly as a high school play. Seriously, you’ll cringe. And the scissors. Yikes.
But it has some grace notes too. A lot of the tension is very good, and there are standout performances by Andy Garcia and some guy who is uncredited that you’ll blurt out, “Oh my god! He’s in this?” when you see him. And because Branagh always works with the same basic core of people and they’re all good friends off camera, you sense how much fun they’re having, so you kind of have fun just being there with them.
I have watched it many more times than its quality justifies. Yeah, it’s my guilty pleasure.