If Steven Soderbergh had an itch to make his “Woody Allen Movie,” Let Them All Talk looks like he just scratched it.
Meryl Streep stars as a struggling writer (a typical Woody archetype) who’s failing to deliver her latest manuscript. Hoping to jolt her out of her writer’s block, her editor (Gemma Chan, Crazy Rich Asians) books her on a cruise with two of her oldest friends, but it’s the first time that the trio has connected with each other in years.
Angsty, candid soul-searching dramedy ensues.
Joining the multi-Oscar winner Streep is multi-Oscar winner Dianne Wiest (two for Woody films) and multi-Emmy winner Candice Bergen. Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) co-stars as her nephew.
Visually, the film has more of a classical look than is typical of Soderbergh films (of which he shoots himself). His signature quasi-sepia-tinged color palette is there, but his camera is noticeably often static. For a filmmaker who regularly employs hand-held/steadicam vérité and/or wide angles with the occasional fisheye extreme (perhaps reflective of his penchant for digital experimentation), the images here are framed with a still simplicity. Anyway, it’s worth noting, at least for nerdy cinephiles.
Marking the second collaboration between Streep and Soderbergh (Netflix’s The Laundromat being the first), Let Them All Talk streams exclusively on HBO Max on December 10, 2020.