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'Murder on the Orient Express' Proves That Daisy Ridley Will Escape 'Star Wars'

'Murder on the Orient Express' Proves That Daisy Ridley Will Escape 'Star Wars'
From Slashfilm - November 10, 2017

This years holiday movie season brings usarguably the most widely anticipated blockbuster of the entirety of 2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnsons follow-up to the massively popular revival of the Star Wars franchise in 2015, The Force Awakens, is still five weeks away from release, and is all but guaranteed to be a similarly massive, critic-proof hit. However, this weekend offers a glimpse into a possible future for one of the new stars of The Last Jedi, Daisy Ridley.

Ridley, a relative unknown before being cast as Rey in The Force Awakens, has her first non-Star Wars movie in wide release this weekend, as one part of the vast ensemble of Kenneth Branaghs remake of Murder on the Orient Express. By the very nature of the Agatha Christie detective story that inspired Branaghs film (as well as the Sidney Lumet-directed adaptation from 1974), Ridley is not stepping fully into the spotlight here. She plays one of a handful of suspects of a vicious killing on an upscale intercontinental train, as a forthright governess withof coursea secret past. So this is not the equivalent of Hayden Christensen taking a break from playing the petulant teenage version of Anakin Skywalker by starring in the true-story drama Shattered Glass. But it might work toward Ridleys benefit to gradually break away from Star Wars, expanding her talents as opposed to diving in headfirst to radically different roles.

In her handful of scenes in Murder on the Orient Express, Ridley is quite good as Mary, the young governess who believes that she could hold her own opposite the world-renowned detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh, as charmingly hammy as ever). Of course, Poirot is all but omniscient, able to easily pinpoint the possible romance Mary is trying to keep quiet between herself and Dr. Arbuthnot (Leslie Odom, Jr.), as the two young lovers both try to quell any scandal due to their interracial coupling. Though shes in far less of Orient Express than The Force Awakens (and presumably The Last Jedi), Ridley suggests that shes capable of following in the footsteps of other actresses who played the same roleVanessa Redgrave in the 1974 film and Jessica Chastain in the 2010 BBC TV versionand that she wont be hamstrung by lightsabers and spaceships for her whole career.

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