Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Laundromat (2019)

Movie Name/Year: The Laundromat (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Anonymous Content, Grey Matter Productions, Netflix, Topic Studios, TriPictures
Director: Steven Soderbergh       
Writer: Jake Bernstein, Scott Z. Burns
Actors: Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Meryl Streep, James Cromwell, Jeff Michalski, Jane Morris, Robert Patrick, Chris McLaughlin, Jay Paulson, Melissa Rauch, Juliet Donenfeld, Brock Brenner, Larry Clarke, David Schwimmer, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Jeffrey Wright, Sharon Stone, Daniyar, Alexander Stasko, Cristela Alonzo, Myron Parker Wright, Miriam A. Hyman, Veronica Osorio, Brenda Zamora, Zandy Hartig, Jessica Allain, Nonso Anozie, Miracle Washington, Larry Wilmore, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Matthias Schoenaerts, Rosalind Chao, Ming Lo

Blurb from IMDb: In this The Big Short (2015)-esque dramedy based on the Mossack Fonseca scandal, a cast of characters investigate an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of a flamboyant Panama City law partners exploiting the world's financial system.

Selina’s Point of View:
I really wish this was a Friday because I could genuinely use Cat’s input on The Laundromat. Normally, we don’t discuss our reviews before posting them (so that we don’t influence each other’s opinion), but I would have liked to talk this one out.

It was weird. It took a story that another production company would have turned into one of those biography movies that all look the same, and it turned the whole thing into a comedy. The thing is, the story itself was not meant to be a comedy. Still, it kind of worked.

A little.


I have to admit, I’m having trouble deciding.

There was a lot of fourth-wall breaking and active narration-type storytelling. That’s not normally something I go for, but it has worked for me on occasion. My favorite film ever utilizes the same kind of talking-to-the-audience narration. It has to be done right, and The Laundromat does do it very well. There’s a certain chemistry between Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Dark Knight, Darkest Hour) and Antonio Banderas (The Skin I Live In, Black Butterfly, Security) that makes it look like they were just having a ton of fun in their roles. Whenever there’s that kind of chemistry on screen, it’s hard to look way.

The plot is based on real life so I can’t really say much about it. I have some recollection of the news cycle when the Panama Papers came to light, but not enough to really comment on the validity of everything shown in this film.

My opinion went up and down throughout the whole thing. Even the ending: I both loved and hated it. It felt preachy – even a little cheesy, but I also agreed with what it was preaching, so it’s difficult for me to completely hate it. I do feel like they could have removed a bit of it and come out with a much better film.

In the end, despite my confusion, I have to give the creators credit. They took a story that could have been the heart of a lowest-common-denominator Oscar-bait film and made something unendingly unique with it. If I remember anything about The Laundromat, it will be that.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 41%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%
Metascore – 57/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.5/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

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