Oct 17
2019

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mossack Fonseca, the Panama City law firm that watched in horror back in 2016 as a treasure trove of its documents became public, is now attempting to stop Netflix from streaming The Laundromat, a dark comedy that is inspired by those “Panama Papers.” The firm and its founders have filed a lawsuit in Connecticut federal court and are pushing for a restraining order to prevent the Friday release of the film. The movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh, stars Meryl Streep investigating the death of her husband in a boat tour and being led down a trail of shady dealings connected to an off-shore tax scheme exploited by some of the world’s most powerful individuals. According to some advance write-ups of the film, some of these dealings are traced to Jürgen Mossack (played by Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), the named partners in the firm. As the new lawsuit points out, the movie’s trailer states The Laundromat is “based on some real shit,” referencing what was exposed by the leak of 11.5 million documents three years ago. Mossack and Fonseca complain that the film casts them as “villains profiting from the death of 20 people killed in the small town boat tour,” and also object to a comment in the film from Streep tying them to “bribery, corruption, money laundering.” The film provokes two big claims — defamation and trademark infringement. The former because these lawyers have allegedly been cast falsely as criminals, and the latter because the movie utilizes the film’s registered logo while allegedly diminishing and diluting its value. To each of the claims, Netflix will likely raise First Amendment defenses, including how use of the logos is artistically relevant and not explicitly misleading. But for now, the move for a restraining order is what’s most pressing. Prior restraints on speech face nearly insurmountable odds in court. To overcome the First Amendment, Mossack and Fonseca present a theory of irreparable harm tied to their due process rights as potential defendants in a criminal case.

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Oct 06
2019

After a very limited theatrical release on September 27 in US theaters (to qualify for Oscar voters), “The Laundromat” is waiting for its big release on Netflix worldwide on October 18. The major American critics have seen it already, and while the reviews from the Venice Film Festival were a rather stiff embrace, the US critics have panned it largely. RottenTomatoes currently lists the film at 43% with the critical consensus: “The Laundromat misuses its incredible cast by taking a disappointingly blunt and unfocused approach to dramatizing the real-life events that inspired it.” We can all make our thoughts about it on October 18, in the meantime here’s a collection of reviews, including a couple of new production stills.

Richard Roeper, The Chicago Sun-Times (October 03, 2019)
I wish I could tell you this shambling, cryptic, tone-shifting mash-up of so many different stories (and there are more) eventually comes together in one smartly conceived, cleverly executed, cohesive package — but that never happens. In fact, the final, self-conscious, ta-da! moment only serves to lessen the impact of the proceedings to that point, and the speech we get about political and financial corruption feels more like a hectoring lecture than an insightful commentary.

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly (October 02, 2019)
What might be hardest to believe about these stories, though, is that it’s Soderbergh telling them. If the Oscar-winning director doesn’t exactly have a signature through-line in his career, subject or style-wise — without a certified letter from IMDb, you’d be hard-pressed to conclusively prove that Oceans 11, Erin Brokovich, Magic Mike, and Traffic were all made by the same man. Which doesn’t mean the film is some kind of terrible black mark on his record; there are more than a few good nuggets in all those teachable moments. And if a motley crew of movie stars is what it takes to shine more light on bad laws, then let Meryl carry that torch in a wig and a bucket hat. But as a pure movie-going experience, it’s all kind of a wash.

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Sep 25
2019

Here comes a nice article by USA Today: Beware, lawmakers who protect their billionaire buddies. Meryl Streep isn’t having any of that. “The people who are doing it have to be spanked,” she says, smacking her hands together. “It doesn’t stop until they feel they can’t.” The 70-year-old acting legend with a record 21 Oscar nominations (and three wins) stars – and educates the masses – in director Steven Soderbergh’s experimental Netflix dramedy “The Laundromat” (in theaters Friday in New York and Los Angeles, streaming Oct. 18). Based on the 2016 Panama Papers leak, the film uses intertwining stories and well-known actors to impart real-world lessons about tax avoidance, insurance fraud, shell companies, bribery and other financial shenanigans employed by super-wealthy folks to hang on to their cash flow. Streep’s character Ellen loses her husband (James Cromwell) in a vacation tragedy on New York’s Lake George that takes the lives of 20 tourists (a disaster that happened in 2005 in real life). When financial restitution doesn’t come, the retired widow launches her own investigation into shady schemes that lead to the two Panama City lawyers, Jurgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramon Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), at the center of the true scandal. The complete article can be read over at USA Today – two new pictures with Meryl alongside Sharon Stone and Melissa Rauch have been added to the photo gallery.

Sep 15
2019

Lots and lots of new videos from Monday’s “The Laundromat” premiere at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival have been added to the archive. There’s footage from the premiere and Q&A, numerous media outlet interviews with Variety, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter and The Los Angeles Times – and even an old clip from Meryl’s first-ever visit to the festival in 1998, to promote “Dancing at Lughnasa”. Screencaptures from all interviews have been added to the photo gallery, alongside a couple new photoshoots from the festival and a new production still from “The Laundromat”. For a complete list of all added media, have a look at the list below. Enjoy your Sunday!



Related Media:

Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival – Q&A (2019)
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival – Premiere (2019)
Video Archive – News Segments – Entertainment Tonight (2019)
Video Archive – News Segments – Entertainment Tonight Canada (2019)
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival – Deadline Studio (2019)
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival – The Los Angeles Times (2019)
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival – The Hollywood Reporter (2019)
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival – Variety Studios (2019)
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Toronto International Film Festival (1998)

Sep 10
2019

Meryl Streep serenaded the room with a Joni Mitchell tribute, sweetly warbling “Oh Can-a-daa,” as she accepted an acting award Monday night at the inaugural TIFF Tribute Gala at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Streep, at the Toronto International Film Festival for the North American premiere of director Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, referenced Mitchell’s much-loved classic “A Case of You,” before cracking a joke about the Jumbotron-sized screens flanking the stage. She then turned serious, urging the audience to be mindful, explaining for the past decade she has chosen the roles she takes on by asking herself, “Does this help or does this hurt?” Streep set the tone for the first ever Tribute Gala: a mix of humour and serious reflection from stars and filmmakers about what inspires their work. Before the awards dinner, Streep was joined by Steven Soderbergh, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas on the red carpet. Pictures have been added to the photo gallery with more media to be added, so check back.



Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 44th Toronto International Film Festival – TIFF Tribute Actor Award
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 44th Toronto International Film Festival – “The Laundromat” Premiere

Sep 03
2019

After a much-anticipated visit and more-or-less positive reviews for “The Laundromat” (see previous update), lots of additional media from the 76th Venice International Film Festival have been added to the archives. Let’s start with the videos: Full segments from the photocall, press conference and premiere have been added, as well as television interviews by the Italian Rai televsion and the Canadian Entertainment Tonight.


Hundreds of additional pictures from the arrivals, photocall, press conference and premiere have been added as well. For a complete list of all updates, have a look at the list below.


Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – “The Laundromat” Premiere
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – “The Laundromat” Press Conference
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – “The Laundromat” Photocall
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – Arrivals

Video Archive – News Segments – Rai at the 76th Venice Film Festival – Premiere
Video Archive – Public Appearances – Rai at the 76th Venice Film Festival – Interview
Video Archive – Public Appearances – 76th Venice Film Festival – Premiere
Video Archive – Public Appearances – 76th Venice Film Festival – Press Confernce
Video Archive – Public Appearances – 76th Venice Film Festival – Photocall
Video Archive – News Segments – Entertainment Tonight Canada (September 01, 2019)

Sep 03
2019

After yesterday’s world-premiere of “The Laundromat” at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, most outlets have posted their review on the film. The critics consensus is embracing, but not exactly masterful. While many have enjoyed its dark comedic style for such a bleak issue, most of the critics seem to agree that “The Laundromat” is well suited for Netflix and not an Oscar-frontrunner. A selection of reviews can be found below:

Variety, Owen Gleiberman (September 01, 2019)
Steven Soderbergh’s drama about the Panama Papers is ‘Traffic’ lite – an exposé of the global financial elite that’s at once wonkish and prankish. The funny thing is, Soderbergh has staged “The Laundromat” as if it were the dramatic equivalent of a series of shell companies. We think, at first, that Ellen is going to emerge, in her schlub-in-a-windbreaker way, as some unlikely Erin Brockovich heroine; but no, that’s not what happens. Each of the tales Soderbergh tells is a kind of deflection, an illustration of hanky-panky that isn’t, in itself, very significant but that fits into a larger mosaic of corruption and deceit.

The Guardian, Xan Brooks (September 01, 2019)
Steven Soderbergh’s wickedly entertaining romp loosely based on the uncovering of the Panama Papers is an effective mixed wash of truth and fiction. The film’s prize asset, though, is Meryl Streep, playing the role of Ellen Martin, an elderly widow on the trail of her late husband’s insurer. Ellen chases the paper trail from one shell company to the next, determined to hold someone to account, until she finally finds an address for the corporation’s head office. This turns out to be a safety deposit box on the seafront out in Nevis. “Now is the time for action,” vows Ellen, which is all well and good. But viewers hoping for a Hollywood happy ending or even a clear-cut resolution won’t find it here.

The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy (September 01, 2019)
Despite the filmmaker’s obvious smarts and oft-proven skills, there’s a kind of off-putting effrontery about Soderbergh’s approach here that rather sours the whole experience. The tone is brittle, the attitude arch, the performances by a savvy and diverse cast uneven. As is her wont and all-but-inevitable way, Streep keeps things interesting as a woman whose last big chapter in life turns on two spins of a dime from blissful retirement with her mate to confounding victimhood to determined truth-and-justice seeker, albeit one without the usual puffed-up Hollywood sanctimoniousness. Tonally unsteady as the film may be, it still seeks justice in the same way the director’s Erin Brockovich did two decades ago, with a woman leading a lonely fight against shady, obfuscating tricksters.

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Sep 01
2019

This afternoon, Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Steven Soderbergh have arrived in Venice for the world-premiere promotion of “The Laundromat” at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. So far, there are pictures from the arrivals and the photocall, with the press conference happening as we speak and the world-premiere gala set for this evening. I’m looking forward to the first reviews coming out of Venice later today, to see if it’s good entertainment, a good try, or an Oscar contender. Check back for more updates throughout the day. From the press conference: Streep reminded audiences that although the film was a comedy, the issues at hand are indeed life-threatening issues. “This is a funny way of telling a very, very dark, black-hearted joke, a joke that’s being played on all of us. It’s a crime, not without victims. And many of them are journalists. The reason that the Panama Papers were exported to the world was because there were over 300 investigative journalists who got the word of John Doe, the whistleblower from Mossack Fonseca, or who knows where out into the world.” Edit: Pictures from the premiere have been added as well.



Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – “The Laundromat” Premiere
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – “The Laundromat” Photocall
Photo Gallery – Public Appearances – 2019 – 76th Venice International Film Festival – Arrivals

“Some people died for it. Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist, who was investigating someone at the top of the government in Malta, and his connection to the Panama Papers, was blown up in her car, in front of her home,” said Streep. “People died and people die still to get the word out. This movie is funny but it’s really, really, really important.” On playing a relentless woman who wouldn’t back now, Streep said of her character, “I guess grief is a great motivator. The parents of the children shot in the Parkland High School, the parents of the children shot in Newtown, Connecticut. Those people don’t stop. They don’t stop trying to change the world. If it’s personal, you don’t stop. And we rely on the people for whom it really counts to save us all.”

Aug 28
2019

Today, Netflix has released the trailer for “The Laundromat”. The film is based on the real-life Panama Paper scandal when the secret financial records (some involving massive corruption) from a Panamanian law firm were leaked by a whistleblower to the press in 2015. The leak showed widespread tax evasion and fraud by some of the world’s most wealthy people. If, after watching the trailer, you’re left feeling like it seems awfully similar in subject matter and tone to another Soderbergh movie The Informant!, you wouldn’t be wrong. The Laundromat is written by Scott Z. Burns, the same person who wrote The Informant!. Burns also directed the forthcoming film The Report, about a lawyer looking into the CIA’s use of torture in the aftermath of 9/11. Soderbergh also produced The Report. The Netflix produced film will premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week, followed by its wide release on October 18. It also stars David Schwimmer, Will Forte and Sharon Stone. You can watch the trailer below and in the video archive. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery. Check back on Sunday for up-to-date coverage on the film’s world-premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – Trailer screencaptures
Video Archive – Career Videos – The Laundromat – Trailer

Aug 27
2019

As The Hollywood Reporter writes, “The Laundromat” will hit select cinemas September 27 and then debut on Netflix on October 18 – a month earlier than the previously-announced November release. The Steven Soderbergh directed film has also expanded its festival run. After a world-premiere at the Venice Film Festival (September 01), it will be shown at the San Sebastian Film Festival’s sidebar section (no date yet) and the Toronto International Film Festival (September 09), where Streep is set to receive the inaugural TIFF Tribute Actor Award. Here’s the offcial synopsis: When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world’s wealthiest citizens amass even larger fortunes. The charming—and very well-dressed—founding partners Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) are experts in the seductive ways shell companies and offshore accounts help the rich and powerful prosper. They are about to show us that Ellen’s predicament only hints at the tax evasion, bribery and other illicit absurdities that the super wealthy indulge in to support the world’s corrupt financial system.