DAVID BIANCULLI

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LET THEM ALL TALK
December 10, 2020  | By David Bianculli

HBO Max, 3:00 a.m. ET

 
MOVIE PREMIERE: Steven Soderbergh directs this new HBO Max movie, which stars Meryl Streep, Diane Wiest and Candice Bergen. Streep plays Alice, a celebrated author who’s about to be celebrated again, as the forthcoming recipient of a British literary prize. However, she’s unwilling to fly to accept the award in person in England, but agrees to make the Atlantic crossing via the Queen Mary 2. With one stipulation: Her agent has to negotiate free passage for two old college friends she wants to invite to accompany her on the cruise. Wiest and Bergen play the friends, who haven’t seen Alice in years, and Gemma Chan from Humans plays Alice’s agent, who arranges the logistics, then sneaks onto the cruise ship herself in hopes of learning something about Alice’s top-secret work in progress. The actors worked from a broad outline, making up dialogue as they hit the major plot points in eacxh scene. Think of Let Them All Talk as a largely improvised cross between Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Love Boat, with Soderbergh finding a novel way to film safely by isolating his cast and crew. Novel, yet ironic: Let Them All Talk is set and filmed on a cruise ship, one of the ways the pandemic first brought COVID-19 into the United States.
 
 
 
 
 
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