Nov 04
2019

Backstage has a very interesting interview with Meryl Streep’s stunt-coordinator from “The Laundromat”. Stunt coordinators have one of the most high-pressure jobs in the biz: keeping actors and everybody else on set safe. So imagine the pressure, then, when one of those actors happens to be Meryl Streep. Charlie Croughwell can attest, however, the stunt coordination veteran kept his cool working with Streep on “The Laundromat.” The Stephen Soderbergh feature, now streaming on Netflix, features one of Streep’s most involved stunts to date wherein a boat capsizes. Croughwell, along with his daughter who happens to be Streep’s stunt double, greeted the feat with aplomb—and he tells Backstage all about it, from pre-production meetings with Miss Meryl, to how he kept one of the greatest living actors out of harm’s way so she could deliver her best performance. The full interview can be read over at Backstage with many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up!

Anytime we have someone interacting with a body of water, we need to assess their comfort level. I let production know that I needed to get Meryl’s take on her comfort with water scenes and that we would need to get her in the tank at [a dive facility]. I needed to see how comfortable she is not only swimming but breathing from an air source. I had two dive masters as well as her stunt double and two water safety people on the day. We laid out all of the dive equipment we could have possibly needed: a wetsuit for Meryl, towels, showers. Her assistant arrived a bit before her, checked over the plan and we waited. Only a few minutes went by and up pulled Meryl. We went out to greet her. Once out of the car I began explaining to her the process we had planned and that she would be in different clothing on the day. The pro she is, she said, “These are the clothes I’ll be wearing and I’m very comfortable with what I need to do.” With that, we went into the tank area, she jumped in, we all jumped in and within 30 minutes we were done and she was on her way.

Oct 24
2019

Many thanks to my friend Simona for contributing this wonderful cover story from the Italian Il Venerdi di Repubblica, dated October 04, 2019. Scans can be found in the photo gallery.


Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Articles & Scans – Il Venerdi di Repubblica (Italy, October 04, 2019)

Oct 19
2019

Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat” has been released on Netflix, yesterday. I’m really glad it’s on Netflix, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I have just seen the first time. After the second time, it made much more sense. And I assume that after the third watch it’s actually a damn good movie :-) But after the first watch, this is one of the most absurd projects to find in Meryl’s filmography. It won’t be a player at the Oscars, but I think a Golden Globe nomination for Meryl Streep is very much possible. As I keep this little review spoiler-free, it’s impossible to write anything about her performance, with the exception that she takes the general moviegoers’ general idea of a Midwestern granny to a whole new level. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery, which contain a lot of spoilers, so please watch it first, it’s worth the surprise.



Related Media:

Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – Screencaptures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – On-Set Picures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – The Laundromat – Production Stills

Oct 18
2019

According to The Guardian, Netflix has moved to shut down a lawsuit from Mossack Fonseca lawyers over a film about the Panama Papers scandal that led to the closure of their firm and criminal charges, arguing the partners’ reputations were “long sullied” before the film’s release. The film, The Laundromat, is due to be released on Netflix at midnight on Friday in the US, and stars Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas as Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca. Mossack and Fonseca sued Netflix this week alleging that the film portrayed them as “ruthless uncaring lawyers who are involved in money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and/or other criminal conduct” and sought a court ruling preventing the film being released. In a response filed to the US district court in Connecticut on Thursday, Netflix said the request was a “virtually unheard-of prior restraint on speech” and should be denied. The company said the film, although advertised as “based on some real shit”, did not try to portray itself as a non-fictional account of the Panama Papers scandal, but was instead a “comedic morality tale about a system which invites and protects abuse”. “While entertaining and largely comedic, it is intended to bring attention to the abuse of offshore shell corporations and tax shelters, and it is an indictment of the legal system that permits them,” Netflix said. Mossack and Fonseca, while given the same names in the film, are “palpably farcical characters”, Netflix said in the court filing. “They are cartoonish narrators who set up shell corporations around the world; it does not depict them as direct participants in criminal activity. “Rather, the film saves its pointed critiques for the opacity of the global banking system and the systemic corruption of wealthy individuals that permit that system to perpetuate itself.” Netflix said the film portrayed the pair as being “largely oblivious to the ways in which some of the shell entities they have set up are being abused, and it indicts the system for making such enterprises largely, if not entirely, legal”. The complete article can be read over at The Guardian.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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)