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Glass Onion, Netflix’s Movie Set in Greece, Tops Movie Charts

The cast of Glass Onion
The cast of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on location in Spetses island, Greece. Credit: Netflix

Netflix has had a rolling series of chart-topping successes recently, with many of them featuring Greek actors as well as locations. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is the latest of them.

The film was set in Porto Heli, a chic summer resort located in the Peloponnese, which takes center stage in the thriller starring Daniel Craig, Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, and Greek-Filipino actor David Bautista.

Glass Onion, Netflix’s third most watched film

Glass Onion first premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on September 22, 2022. In November, it then had a limited, one week theatrical release during the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, making a whopping $13.1 million, the biggest ever for Netflix. On December 23rd, it became available for streaming.

According to Variety, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery has become “Netflix’s third most watched film in terms of hours viewed over a title’s first ten days following launch.”  Ninety-two percent of the movie’s critical reviews have also been positive, including that by Variety’s Owen Gleiberman, who called it “a bigger, showier, even more elaborately multi-faceted shell-game mystery” than the first film.

Daniel Craig filming in Spetses
Daniel Craig on the set of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in Dapia on the Greek island of Spetses. Credit: Daniel_Craig_Daily / Twitter

“The first one was good,” The Guardian wrote, and “this one is better: an ingenious, headspinningly preposterous and enjoyable new whodunnit romp featuring Daniel Craig as the legendary detective from the deep south, Benoit Blanc.”

Daniel Craig on filming in Greece

Actor Daniel Craig also seemed to enjoy filming in Greece as much as his Netflix viewers loved watching him perform there. In an interview with KFTV, he said that he “enjoyed the experience of shooting in Greece, which is a beautiful country. The locals were very supportive and we managed to all work together well, despite COVID.”

“I mean, it was an amazing experience,” Craig repeated at the BFI London Film Festival.

“We were under lockdown, so we were kind of restricted in our movements [and] we couldn’t really go very many places,” he said.

He added that “it was about 150 degrees in the shade, but, you know, those are high-class problems.”

Kate Hudson also found it “a great experience”. Upon completion of filming, she stated that “it was good fun, with a lot of hard work in between.”

Porto Heli, Spetses, and Villa 20

The three locations featured in the film, which were each well known before, have now become even more famous.

The town of Porto Heli, tucked away in the municipality of Ermionida in the southeastern part of Argolis in the Peloponnesian peninsula of Greece, is already a highly traversed summer resort, for example.

spetses , agioi anargyroi beach
Spetses Island. Credit: dronepicr / flickr CC BY 2.0

This is likewise true of Villa 20, the luxury accommodations found at Amanzoe. Yet both will certainly boom in the upcoming summer season given the reviews they have received from various magazines, such as  House Beautiful, a U.S. publication.

Villa 20, Amanzoe, Aman Resorts, Porto Heli Greece
Villa 20, Amanzoe, Aman Resorts, Porto Heli Greece. Credit: Amanzoe, Aman Resorts

“Whether you’re planning a European vacation, or want new material for your next daydream getaway, the filming locations in Glass Onion are sure to impress,” House Beautiful wrote. “The resort is comprised of cabanas, pavilions, and villas that have private pools with breathtaking views of olive groves and the Aegean sea.”

Lifestyle Asia called the resort “ideal for events and celebrations or simply an escape with enough room for the whole family.”

Agioi Anargyri Beach on Spetses island, Greece, a view from above
Agioi Anargyri Beach on the island of Spetses in Greece, a view from above. Credit: dronepicr, CC-BY-2.0 / Flickr

Spetses, the meeting point for the characters in the film, also has its own unique charm as part of the Saronic Islands.

The moral of the story

Many see writer and director Rian Johnson’s film as pure entertainment. Others find haunting parallels to real life events and individuals, such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, in the film.

“‘Glass Onion’ Is Actually About Living in the Age of Musk, Ye and Trump” is the title of an article written by Calder McHugh for Politico:

This point suggests there’s something more to billionaires’ power over all of us than just how they spend their money. It’s not only how they use their money to dictate modern work life or bankroll politicians. The ultra-wealthy are increasingly empowered to exert their influence on politics and culture at least partially thanks to many of the rest of us, who are convinced that, by dint of their riches and power, they must know something we don’t.

Edward Norton’s character tech genius Miles Brown in Rian Johnson’s ‘Glass Onion'
Edward Norton’s character tech genius Miles Brown in Rian Johnson’s ‘Glass Onion’. Credit: Discussing Film / Twitter

As a result, Americans often become legitimate fans of rich people, particularly ultra-wealthy entrepreneurs, and submit to their rules, mostly voluntarily. This fandom partly explains why efforts to rein in the political influence of wealthy people, for instance, have been weak, and it’s why people like Elon Musk can feel compelled not just by money but by popular goodwill to take over companies like Twitter, which only furthers their social influence.

Similarly, MSNBC’s James Downie apparently described Edward Norton’s character, Miles Bron, as a “mixture of bluster, hubris, and half-baked ideas [that] will likely bring to mind Twitter owner and part-time car enthusiast Elon Musk.”

‘Rian Johnson Knows Glass Onion’s Tech Bro Looks Very Familiar,’ Angela Watercutter writes for Wired magazine. During the interview, she questioned him on it—as revealed below—using his next project as a launching point:

Angela Watercutter: What’s going into the next one? Can you say what’s on your mind?

Rian Johnson: No. You got any ideas for me?

Angela Watercutter: The downfall of Twitter?

Rian Johnson: Downfall of Twitter. Didn’t I just do that? [Laughs]

Angela Watercutter: Actually, I was going to ask you about that. Here you have this movie with a tech billionaire at the center and as it’s coming out, everyone is watching Elon Musk’s erratic takeover of Twitter.

Rian Johnson: It’s so weird. It’s very bizarre. I hope there isn’t some secret marketing department at Netflix that’s funding this Twitter takeover.

“There’s a lot of general stuff about that sort of species of tech billionaire that went directly into it,” Johnson said. “But obviously, it has almost a weird relevance in exactly the current moment. A friend of mine said, ‘Man, that feels like it was written this afternoon.’ And that’s just sort of a horrible, horrible accident, you know?”

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