Steven Soderbergh has had quite a career as a director over the last three decades. He worked with dozens of the industry’s biggest stars. A few of them have even won Oscars and Emmys for their roles in his films. In Let Them Talk, he gets to work with one of the greatest actresses ever for the second time, Meryl Streep, after having worked together on The Laundromat last year. These two films couldn’t be more different, though.
Based on a screenplay by Deborah Eisenberg, an award-winning writer, Let Them All Talk focuses on an author (Meryl Streep) who goes on a cruise with her two best friends (Dianne Wiest and Candice Bergen), her literary agent (Gemma Chan), and her nephew (Lucas Hedges. She tries to get some juices flowing in herself so she can write a follow up to the best-selling book she previously wrote. These creative juices flow into a burgeoning relationship between her and a friend as well as quality time with her friends and nephew.
The strength of this film is its script. It has a lot of heft in it. These characters have quite a bit of heavy dialogue between them. Soderbergh doesn’t have to do anything except point his camera at his actors and let them act out this amazing script. This film doesn’t have any fancy camera tricks or special effects. The actors are the feature, and they all get their time to shine.
The interpersonal relationships between the characters are very drawn out as the film progresses. The viewer starts to get the motivations of each character. Like a book, the film unfolds in front of our eyes. Streep and company all have quality time with one another. Acting off of each other brings out the strengths of these great actresses. Bergen and Wiest gave had great careers of their own. A lot of women can relate to the relationships between these women in this film.
Streep has done a lot of different things in her 50-year career. She has won three academy awards among her many accolades. Her strength as an actress is her ability to become who she is portrayed as evidenced by playing Julia Child in Julie and Julia or Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She even sometimes uses accents to bring these characters to life as in Sophie’s Choice and Out of Africa. She just has the innate ability to more into whoever she’s playing. She was a little subdued in this film though. Maybe that was the point of the script and story by Eisenberg.
Soderbergh uses a great score, acting, and script to get this story across to its audience. Everybody involved puts in the effect in every scene. It makes sense why all of them were attracted to this film. The camera is just another person in the room because these people all fit into the rooms and places the story takes place in like a glove. This world makes complete sense in every way. It’s not like anything Soderbergh has done before.
Dan Skip Allen
A wordy starring role for Meryl and crew.