Monday, July 19, 2021

Thoughts on "Places, Please"

We're already halfway through summer and nary a word has been printed about the status of Places, Please since its announcement five months ago. At the time, filming was listed as starting sometime in the summer. I thought I had read somewhere that it was supposed to be early summer, but I rechecked a few articles and cannot find where that may have been. So, I guess I shouldn't get too impatient about the possibility that it might not start until closer to September. 

That said, it's a bit strange that there's been no further casting news. With this idea, however, I should probably pause and remind myself that so much of the inner workings and dealing of film casting goes by under the radar. Look at the recent casting news of Babylon. We were all waiting with baited breath to learn whether or not Meryl would be announced in the role of Elinor Glyn, only to learn about Jean Smart's casting while filming was already underway. For all we know, Places, Please may already have its full cast assembled, and are only days away from shooting. 

One thing that I hadn't picked up on quite as closely when reading the brief character synopsis from Deadline was where they describe the character contending with "the demands of ageing, its real and perceptual debilities," and "...the betrayals of others and her own body." This makes me wonder if Lillian Hall will have some kind of illness or physical functional impairment (beyond the typical wear and tear of that goes along with ageing). If so, it's one added element to complicate the life of this woman. 

I also have to say that the idea of this film being a sort of love letter to Broadway is already resonating with me. I'm a huge fan of live theater, and having had the opportunity to see my first live opera in sixteen months last weekend, I was strongly reminded of how much I missed in-person performances. I'm taking a trip to New York this fall as well, and was surprised how scarce many online tickets were for Broadway shows. I'm just grateful that things have opened to some degree, and I pray (figuratively) that we can continue in that fashion. People are hungry for that kind of experience again. Myself included.  


  1. What concerns me most about this film is that it does not yet have a network/distributor/studio attached; at least one that is public knowledge! If it going to be a small, almost indie film, then yes casting might be under the radar. I'm hopeful it happens, given the subject matter (I too have missed theatre!) but ever since it was announced with Streep as a producer I have been nervous as that seems to be a jinx (Nix, Lily Ledbetter)!

    1. Looking back at the original announcement from Deadline: Places, Please will shoot this summer in New York, and will be introduced to buyers for the virtual Berlin Market, with CAA Media Finance repping domestic distribution rights and Filmnation handling international sales. Streep, Steven Rogers (I, Tonya) and Jane Rosenthal (The Irishman) will produce. Berry Welsh will executive produce.

      I'm not sure it's that strange? I know it's Streep, but maybe they're still working that out, or waiting to see an early cut of the film. You know someone will pick it up, even if it's not an enormous studio.

      I'll add that I wouldn't throw "Lilly" into the mix. Meryl was more recruited to help produce the film in some way, versus it being something she envisioned herself. I wonder what kind of credit she'll have on that film, if any.

      The Nix is a bit more an enigma to me. I think it's delay or death may have been more a product of the fact that Trump actually won the presidential election. The story may have seemed a bit to on the nose or reactionary (even though the story was written before he was thrust into the political spotlight).

  2. Fingers crossed. I too have missed theatre (I attended first socially distanced West End play earlier this month).

    I'm intrigued as the subject matter and characterisation could be something totally fresh and timely.