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.
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:
Soderbergh's #TheLaundromat is exactly what it wants to be — funny, engaging and boisterous. Like Adam McKay's The Big Short, it's a heavily stylized economic tragedy exploring how the mega rich exploit the world's financial systems. Streep and Oldman are sublime. #Venezia76 pic.twitter.com/hlEfWmUoXv
— International Film Critique (@IntFilmCritique) September 1, 2019
Leonardo Goi gushed about Oldman and Banderas:
I don't think it'd be much of an embargo breach to say that, among the many good things in Soderbergh's THE LAUNDROMAT, Antonio Banderas and Gary Oldman's endless stock of tuxedoes is worth the whole damn ticket. #Venezia76
— Leonardo Goi @ Venezia76 (@LeonardoGoi) September 1, 2019
Awais Irfan thinks the film is “way too derivative of The Big Short’s style”:
#TheLaundromat is good fun; Soderbergh injects humour and energy into his take on the Panama Papers. The story itself is just crazy and fascinating and it makes for an entertaining watch, albeit nothing all that special. Way too derivative of The Big Short's style! #Venezia76 pic.twitter.com/WKXKl5xT3v
— Awais Irfan @ Venezia (@OasisAwais) September 1, 2019
Billie Melissa feels “The Laundromat” is “best when it’s with Meryl”:
— Billie Melissa (@billiemelissa_) September 1, 2019
And Eric Kohn calls it “hit-or-miss…but Meryl Streep kills it.”
THE LAUNDROMAT: A very funny, WILD TALES-inspired breakdown of the Panama Papers scandal. Hit-or-miss satire, but Meryl Streep kills it, and some of the fourth-wall-breaking stuff is really fun. https://t.co/gf9owPWBvm via @indiewire #Venezia76
— erickohn (@erickohn) September 1, 2019