Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"The Laundromat" garnering tepid reviews

The Laundromat has now been shown at both the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. Over forty reviews have been counted, and I'm disappointed to report that most critics are giving it a thumbs-sideways. The majority of concerns seem to center on the fact that the film it disjointed and smug, does not give enough time to cover the wide swath of ground it wishes to traverse, and is wasting its impressive cast on too much frivolity for such a serious topic.

While that's disappointing to read, Meryl is generally getting best-in-show notices. There are rumblings about the fact that she portrays more than one character, one being a Panamanian woman, and how that may be a a misguided and even offensive example of "brownface."

Those detractors are few, but loud, and from what I can understand, the criticism is probably misplaced. I'll hold off on getting too into it until I see the film, but more to come on that.

The sad thing about the film not doing well is that it's likely going to cost Meryl any love come awards season. I could see it having a better chance at the Golden Globes, but and Oscar nom may be out of reach this time. 

There's always Big Little Lies. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Streep receives Actor Tribute Award at Toronto International Film Festival

Meryl was on hand in Toronto yesterday to promote The Laundromat. She and Joaquin were also both recipients of the inaugural "Actor Tribute" awards. I've been unable to find a video of her speech, but here's a snippet from The Los Angeles Times:

“Lately, I’ve been asking myself a question,” she said of picking her projects. “Does this help or does this hurt? Is this piece of material something that needs to be in the world right now, for whatever reason? And even if it doesn’t help, even if it’s just silly and fun, does it on the other hand do damage? Does it make us complacent? What is it, what is it? 

 “Every artist here has made a choice about the material that they’ve done; they’ve decided to contribute something either by default or by intention,” she continued. “This festival is moving the needle by intention. And even though we didn’t create the moment that we find ourselves in, we can’t cure it individually, we can’t control it, but we sure can contribute to its toxicity. 

 “I just want us all to be really mindful,” Streep concluded. “Time is short — as you reach a certain milestone you realize that. So we should all do the things that count, even if it’s just to get a laugh.”

Wise as always. I wish The Laundromat were getting better reviews. It's hovering around 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a total of 25 reviews counted. There are many more sure to come. It would be great it somehow managed to sneak past the 60% "fresh" mark. Even with that, however, this is FAR from a critical darling.  

Meryl seems to be getting pretty good individual notices, however, and it's clear she's willing to campaign for this. It'll be interesting to see how it fares from an awards standpoint. 

The film is in select theaters on September 27, preceding its release to Netflix on October 18. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

"Let Them All Talk" completed in thirteen days

Meryl did several interviews in Venice for the premiere of The Laundromat, and in one of them, she states that Let Them All Talk took only thirteen days to shoot.

From Deadline:

Streep marveled of upcoming Soderberg collaboration Let Them All Talk, “Steven and I just finished a film in 13 days. He’s an artist for this time.” Chimed in the director, “Advances in technology have allowed me to optimize a process that I felt wasn’t moving at the pace that was beneficial to the process. Now I can use the camera as a pen essentially and write it in real time. It’ better for me, not for everybody. I found through some unsuccessful endeavors that I work best when I have to work quickly.”

That's wild. I can't help but feel a little skeptical of quality when something that's implied to be feature length is completed so quickly. But I'm trying to keep an open mind. 

I'll be curious to see if this project gets a theatrical release. It culd be be better for Meryl's award chances if it were Emmy-bound, as she'll also have Ryan Murphy's The Prom next year. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

"The Laundromat" premieres at Venice

Yesterday, Steven Soderbergh's Panama Papers comedy The Laundromat premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, and Meryl was on hand for the event:

Looking stunning as usual. There are close to a dozen reviews for the film already counted so far, and in general, the responses are decent. Its score on Metacritic is only 59 with eleven reviews, while at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, with twelve. Hopefully the score goes up a bit in the next few weeks. While Meryl is getting good notices, her chances for awards recognition go down if the film isn't as well-received.  

Next up is the Toronto International Film Festival later this week. The film will be in select theaters September 27, and will be available to stream on Netflix on October 18. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Trailer for "The Laundromat" revealed

A trailer for The Laundromat has finally been released:

My first impression is that it's even quirkier than I'd expected. When the film's festival schedule was announced, I was surprised that it was described as a comedy. Based on the story, I had expected this to be a very serious picture. But it looks like it's going to be much more along the lines of Soderbergh's other films like the Ocean trilogy and The Informant!, as the trailer notes.

It's definitely not a glamorous role for Meryl, and I'm sure we'll see some deeper scenes than the trailer suggests. It looks fun and colorful, but maybe too campy for the Academy?

It'll be very interesting when reactions come out after the Venice premiere this weekend.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Netflix nails down release dates for "The Laundromat"

Ahead of its world premiere next week at the Venice Film Festival, Netflix has solidified the theatrical and streaming release dates for the The Laundromat and other films:

I had been under the impression that the film wasn't set for release until late October or early November. Excited to learn that we can see Meryl in theaters again in just one month!

Now can we get a friggin' trailer?

Monday, August 26, 2019

Martin Scorsese film likely not a thing

Last fall, I had posted news of an interview that had come out in Marie Claire magazine, where Sharon Stone discussed an upcoming project she was doing with director Martin Scorsese and Meryl. At the time, it was a bit confusing and difficult to get a sense of whether this was actually a thing. IMDb continues to list it as an upcoming project.

Well, when we found out that Sharon Stone is also in The Laundromat, someone on Awards Watch pointed out that the project Sharon Stone was talking about with Meryl was most likely The Laundromat, while the project with Scorsese was a Bob Dylan documentary, which came out this summer.

Here's is the original quote:

Stone began by talking about her latest project, a create-your-own-murder-mystery called Mosaic with Steven Soderbergh, as well as her new secret Netflix project with Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese. Literally, it's so secret all we know is that it's a docu-drama that's not about Stone, but not not about Stone, as she's a character. "I'm gonna blow it if I keep talking. It is about one of my favorite people, and someone who is one of your favorite people, so it's gonna be good." I have a lot of favorite people, Sharon! Give me a hint or two.

After reading this again, and knowing that Stone was indeed involved in the Dylan project with Scorsese, it seems so obvious that it was just a reporting error, and no such project with Streep, Stone, and Scorsese was or is planned. 

Not that we'd be against there being one in the future, however.