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.