Photo: ‘Don’t Look Up’
Adam McKay brilliantly proves that ignorance is far from bliss. In fact, it goes so far to reflect a twisted determination to simply look away from the disastrous effects our planet faces if global warming is casually pushed aside. Of course, the screenplay is bearable thanks to the satirical undertones that inject necessary levity. ‘Don’t Look Up’ echoes the real-life climate crisis that remains snubbed by politicians and frivolous billionaires who have the means to manifest positive change. It captures the essence of nonfictional anxiety and is the perfect metaphor for global warming through the eyes of political mayhem. The film premiered in theaters on December 10th, and it is everything we could hope for when a meteor shower of stars collides to capture the selective ignorance of our current social climate.
On the heels of the wildly successful remake of ‘West Side Story’ and the premiere of ‘House of Gucci,’ ‘Don’t Look Up’ is shaping up to be the movie of the year and will undoubtedly rack up multiple nominations for the upcoming award season. There’s no surprise Adam McKay concocted the perfect recipe for yet another visionary triumph. He had us with Meryl Streep for President of the United States. We also have the legendary Leonardo DiCaprio and the dynamic expertise of Jennifer Lawrence and of course, the masterful Cate Blanchett. ‘Don’t Look Up’ is the perfect balance between impending doom and comedic timing.
A Little Context on the Filmmakers and Stars
‘Don’t Look Up’ premiered on December 10 in theaters with a Netflix release on December 24. The film is derived from the wildly imaginative and elusive mind of Adam McKay who consistently produces cinematic masterpieces that are weaved with satirical truths masterly retells the fabric of our societal errors.
For those of you familiar with McKay’s work, there’s no doubt that the film is merely just a star-studded collaboration. The actors chosen for this film have proven track records of their comedic timing while mastering dramatic narratives. DiCaprio’s twisted character in ‘Django Unchained’ and Lawrence’s flawed portrayal of Tiffany in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ are just two examples amongst many. This goes without saying, Streep’s resume that extends from ‘Sophie’s Choice’ to ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is a talent uniquely tethered to Streep’s versatility.
‘Don’t Look Up’ – A Film About the End of the World that Feels a Little Too Real
“We’ve all seen movies where the world’s going to end and everyone gets their act together and they save the world, whether it’s a Marvel movie, Armageddon, Deep Impact, dozens of others. I thought, we need to laugh. We’re so pulverized and overwhelmed by these times,” Adam McKay said in an interview with Deadline. Thankfully, the film is a far cry from the traditional end of the world narratives and speaks to the current attitude people influence having too much to say without saying enough. That is, there’s a vague perpetuation of global warming and how the people in power actively waste their power to dramatically improve our planet’s state of being. McKay mirrors the anxiety of those who rely on scientific knowledge rather than disinformation spread across social media. It also mimics the social capital of celebrities like Ariana Grande by featuring Ariana Grande in the film to raise money for a “We Are the End of the World Fundraiser.”
Jennifer Lawrence plays Kate, an astronomy graduate student with Leonardo DiCaprio plays Randall, her professor at Michigan State University. They manage to present their data to President Orleans who uses this information to merely improve her political ratings and her image. Jonah Hill perfectly plays the President’s son who is absolutely clueless and consistently fails to prove otherwise. He happens to be her chief-of-staff. Timothée Chalamet makes a sudden appearance in the 2 hours and 25 minutes long movie with a role that becomes significant to the film’s conclusion.
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Look to the Stars
“He never lost heart or confidence in this vision that he had for this thing, which was to make an atmosphere as free as possible for everybody — just go nuts and do what you want. But with a deadly serious intent,” Meryl Streep, who stars in this anticipated dramedy, in an interview with The New York Times. Fittingly so, Streep plays the President of the United States. Unfortunately, it’s fictional. Either way, Streep wanted to create a complicated vision for her character, President Orleans, as a woman who thrives on power and influence. Streep recalled her vision for her character, “…as someone whose elderly husband had a lot of money, and she got rid of him, and it was in California so she got half. She had no real agenda except to have and retain power, and when she got there, she just realized that the job was pretty easy.”
In a dream world, Meryl Streep would be the person the country turns to in times of crisis. However, her portrayal of President Orleans may force you to think otherwise. Her character doubles down on the warnings Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence present to her. The astronomical duo takes their findings to media outlets that includes a peppy morning show with two hosts who evade the catastrophic evidence and somehow DiCaprio’s character becomes the professor everyone wants to be with. That’s what makes this film deliciously great, it is incomparably relatable and realistic.
Why You Should Watch
By now, film lovers are quite familiar with Adam McKay’s successful résumé– the genius behind ‘Vice,’ ‘The Big Short,’ and yes, ‘Anchorman,’ among many others. His experience of working on ‘Saturday Night Light’ is evident through the unexpected comedic turns many of his films undertake, including enthralling dramas that are thankfully soothed by unrivaled comedy. McKay is credited as the producer for the beautifully written Shakespearean-esque, ‘Succession.’
Only Adam McKay could harvest real-life and collective trauma following a worldwide lockdown that became an emotionally exhausting quarantine. Many have become disillusioned by natural disasters while others have become enlightened to the warnings scientists are desperately trying to share with the general public. ‘Don’t Look Up’ casts a light on the ridiculousness of ignorance and dangers of choosing to ignore problems that have solutions.
Cast: Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry
Screenplay: Adam McKay, David Sirota
By Gina Michele Yaniz
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Gina Michele Yaniz is a writer and digital media content creator with a deep love for storytelling. Charmed by the notable influence of the entertainment industry, Gina is passionate about uplifting the voices of artists and celebrating powerful material. She likes to embody the philosophy of writing through a non-judgmental and a genuine perspective while expanding the perception of film industry. Along with Hollywood Insider, Gina values the responsibility the media holds and wishes to use her writing to provide meaningful content. During her free time, Gina loves to watch period pieces, stand-up comedy, and indulges on her avid interest for reading articles on self-care.