Adam McKay‘s Don’t Look Up has a huge, impressive cast, including Meryl Streep. The story follows two astronomers trying to warn everyone that an asteroid is headed right towards Earth, and now we know who Streep is playing in this scenario: the President of the United States. Streep will also play the mother of a character played by Jonah Hill, so she’s got that going for her as well.
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Can you even imagine going on a cruise again? I’m sure some people are perfectly fine with the idea – heck, some people would be willing to go right now, this very second, if they could. But here in the age of the coronavirus, cruises seem like floating Petri dishes; isolated barges with no escape. Which makes Steven Soderbergh‘s curious Let Them All Talk already feel weirdly dated. It’s set in a world where people gather freely, maskless, throwing their cares to the wind. They board a huge ship and take to the sea. It’s almost surreal at this point.
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Even though the United States has made a lot of progress when it comes to giving members of the LGBTQ community the respect and equality they deserve, there are still plenty of places with small town mindsets who need a little push in the right direction. That’s exactly what happens in Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix movie The Prom when a teenage girl (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) wants to bring her girlfriend (Ariana DeBose) to the prom in her small Indiana town, but the PTA board votes against it.
Who will stand up to fight this injustice? It’s Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden), two Broadway stars reeling from a recent flop who are looking for a way to drum up some attention and give their careers a bit of a boost. With some help from their friends Angie (Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells), they’re off to spark some publicity with a lot of singing and dancing. If there’s one thing that will convince Indiana folk to embrace the LGBTQ community, it’s the power of musicals, right? Read More »
It’s been a very rough year. We’re almost at the end, folks, but if you thought we were going to make it to 2021 without having to hear Meryl Streep rap, you were sorely mistaken. Streep is one of the cast members of The Prom, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin, and Matthew Sklar‘s award-winning, Tony-nominated Broadway musical, and as is par for the course with most stage-to-screen adaptations, there’s a new original song not featured in the Broadway production. It’s called “Wear Your Crown,” and for the most part, it’s light, poppy stuff. And then, more than halfway through the tune, Streep comes in and starts rapping. It’s…something.
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Remember when Steven Soderbergh was supposed to be retired? It seems like that never lasted very long, no matter how many times he said it. In the past few years, he’s directed Logan Lucky, Unsane, High-Flying Bird, and The Laundromat, and now he’s back with a new film for HBO Max called Let Them All Talk, starring Oscar winner Meryl Streep. Now the first trailer has arrived to tease the film’s arrival on the streaming service next month. Read More »
It’s been a little while since we had a full-blown musical on the big screen. Unfortunately, with studios still hesitant to send movie to theaters due to the coronavirus, that will probably be the case for a little while longer. But Netflix will help remedy that by sending Ryan Murphy‘s big adaptation of the Broadway musical The Prom to limited theaters and their streaming library on the same day in December, and the first trailer has just arrived. Prepare for a lot of glitz and glamour, folks. Read More »
(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st-century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: Bridge of Spies and The Post.)
The Spielbergian hero is someone who not only does the right thing, but goes above and beyond. Someone who risks it all – life, limb, and reputation – for the greater good. And not some wispy, intangible greater good, either – oh, no. It’s not the belief in a better world; it’s the belief that the world we already have is as good as it’s going to get, if only we allow it. Spielbergian America is a place where the power is in the hands of the people, and all the people need do to make the country live up to its lofty goals is to fight for what’s right, no matter how daunting the fight may be. Two of Steven Spielberg‘s 21st-century films personify this perfectly, and, coincidentally enough, both star Tom Hanks: Bridge of Spies and The Post.
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This year marks the 20th anniversary of Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical movie Almost Famous. To celebrate the milestone, James Andrew Miller is delivering a limited podcast series called Origins: Almost Famous Turns Twenty, and it’s already yielding some interesting tidbits looking back at the film.
Almost Famous features Patrick Fugit as William Miller, a young aspiring journalist who gets caught up in the world of rock and roll in 1969. During his adventures on tour with a fictional band called Stillwater, he encounters a famous band-aid (or groupie) named Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), and sparks a friendship with the band’s lead guitartist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), all while his mother (Frances McDormand) worries back home. But Fugit almost acted opposite some even bigger names. Read More »
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It’s a conversation that plenty of people will have just heard from their relatives coming off the Thanksgiving holidays, and can probably look forward to hearing come Christmas: when will you get married? Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women may have been published in 1868, but it continues to prove itself timeless, especially in its depiction of meddling aunts. Meryl Streep plays the aunt in question in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film adaptation of Little Women, needling Saoirse Ronan‘s headstrong writer Jo March about her future in the latest Little Women clip.
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It’s not exactly clear why there’s been such a boomlet in explanatory, often didactic, films about recent history. It can’t be merely a reaction to the anti-intellectualism of Trump because films like The Big Short predated his rise. Perhaps it’s a response to our information-saturated culture and a need to cut through the volume of digital noise. Whether it’s trusting the audience too much that they want to know how complex systems work, sensing that they might tune out unless it’s laid out clearly, or cynically doubting they won’t understand without a spoon-fed explanation, these films all share an urge to inform and not just entertain. It’s impossible to deny that Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, an instructive explainer on the Panama Papers leak of 2016, is a product of this moment in cinema.
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