Venice Film Festival: First Reactions compare Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Laundromat’ to ‘The Big Short’

Sunday morning at the Venice Film Festival kicked off with world premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s new film, “The Laundromat.” The film’s first trailer was released last week, giving audiences a preview of the darkly comedic style and tone Soderbergh is going for.

“The Laundromat” stars Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, along with Academy Award winner Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. The film is written by Scott Z. Burns, who has previously worked with Soderbergh on “The Informant,” “Contagion” and “Side Effects.” The plot, according to IMDb, is as follows:

A widow investigates an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of Panama City law partners exploiting the world’s financial system.

The all-star cast for “The Laundromat” also includes Jeffrey Wright, Matthias Schoenaerts, Robert Patrick, Will Forte, James Cromwell and Sharon Stone. Soderbergh also wears multiple hats on “The Laundromat,” as he is also the cinematographer and editor. This is Soderbergh’s second film of 2019, with “High Flying Bird” released in February on Netflix.

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Initial reactions have come in, with some comparing “The Laundromat” to Adam McKay’s “The Big Short.” Considering the subject matter and tone of the trailer, it seems to be a good comparison. While that 2015 was divisive, Netflix hopes “The Laundromat” can connect to audiences in a similar fashion and land a Best Picture nomination.

International Film Critique made the comparison while also giving praise to Streep and Oldman:

Leonardo Goi gushed about Oldman and Banderas:

Awais Irfan thinks the film is “way too derivative of The Big Short’s style”:

Billie Melissa feels “The Laundromat” is “best when it’s with Meryl”:

And Eric Kohn calls it “hit-or-miss…but Meryl Streep kills it.”

“The Laundromat” will screen again at the Toronto International Film Festival. It will be distributed by Netflix and released in theaters on September 27 and for streaming on October 18.

What do you think of the reactions for “The Laundromat?” Let us know in the comments below.

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