Awards Profile 2019: Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Laundromat’ from Netflix

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Welcome to the 2019 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you in the coming year (at least at this time of writing). The series analyzes the films and their awards season potential, most notably for the Academy Awards, based on the talents attached, filmmakers involved, and story and source material.  Monday through Friday until mid-May, AwardsCircuit will bring you a new and exciting project and discuss its chances for success.  If you have a suggestion for a movie we should cover, include it in the comments section below.  If you miss a film covered, click on the tag or category for “Awards Profile.”

FILM: “The Laundromat”

DISTRIBUTOR: Netflix
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
PRODUCERS: Steven Soderbergh, Scott Z. Burns, Lawrence Grey, Gregory Jacobs, and Michael Sugar
WRITER(S): Scott Z. Burns (screenplay); Jake Bernstein (book)
CAST: Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Melissa Rauch, Matthias Schoenaerts, David Schwimmer, James Cromwell, Will Forte, Antonio Banderas, Jeffrey Wright, Robert Patrick, Chris Parnell, and Nonso Anozie

SYNOPSIS: Follows a group of journalists who take part in unearthing 11.5 million files, linking the world’s most powerful political figures to secret banking accounts to avoid taxes. (IMDB)

SCHEDULED RELEASE: To be announced, 2019

POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS:

Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh‘s latest flick, “The Laundromat,” is based on the Panama Papers political scandal brought to light by a team of journalists in May of 2016. Soderbergh produced, directed, edited, and shot the film himself, so if it is a hit, he will be mainly responsible for its success.

Aside from the one-man show behind the camera, Soderbergh has assembled quite a cast to portray the press correspondents and elected officials. Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Oscar winner Gary Oldman headline a pretty great list of names, as often the case with a Soderbergh film.

This is the fourth collaboration between Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns who previously teamed up on “The Informant!,” “Contagion,” and “Side Effects.” Burns has written and directed another film we will profile this year, “The Report,” starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening, and Jon Hamm, and is slated to script the 25th James Bond film for director Cary Joji Fukunaga.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES:

We are probably going to mention this a lot under our potential challenges, and rightfully so, but any film distributed by Netflix will face an uphill battle during the awards race, as recently demonstrated by “Roma” losing Best Picture to the more preferential-ballot-friendly “Green Book.” It was likely not just the fact that “Green Book” was more palatable to most audiences, but also a case of how the old guard clearly views the online streaming titan as an agitator to the theatrical experience expected from an Oscar player. Steven Spielberg recently said as much as we covered here. The justice department also weighed in on the matter, but threats aren’t a guarantee against bias.

As Hollywood clashes with one another on whether or not films streamed through companies like Netflix should even be eligible for Oscar, is it too soon to think that a film like “The Laundromat” can overcome this stigma?

POTENTIAL AWARD CATEGORIES IN PLAY:

  • Motion Picture (Steven Soderbergh, Scott Z. Burns, Lawrence Grey, Gregory Jacobs, and Michael Sugar)
  • Director (Steven Soderbergh)
  • Actress in a Leading Role (Meryl Streep)
  • Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman)
  • Adapted Screenplay (Scott Z. Burns)
  • Cinematography (Steven Soderbergh)
  • Film Editing (Steven Soderbergh)
  • Original Score (TBD)

Are you excited or skeptical about Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat?” Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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