• Soderbergh’s 17th archiveable film at the time I’m writing this- that’s incredible. And he took several years off with his brief hiatus/retirement/sabbatical.
  • He seems destined to hit 25+ archiveable films which is extremely rare in the more modern era. Of course, Scorsese and Woody (both with debuts in the 1960’s) hit that (or rather Scorsese will with his next one) but Soderbergh is from the Gen X class of auteurs- his debut was in 1989.
  • On top of the prolific output- Soderbergh serves as also his own editor and cinematographer (under aliases) here for Let Them All Talk as he does often. Being his own DP has sparked a bit of a trend (at least I think he started it)—Cuaron and PTA both acted as DP for their most recent works (Roma and Phantom Thread respectively). Soderbergh’s films (Let Them All Talk included) are brilliantly shot and edited I may add.

Opens with Meryl Streep and Gemma Chan in this great set piece of a restaurant together. There is this gigantic copper wall behind them and Soderbergh shoots them from his trademark Wellesian low-angles to capture some of the fighting fixtures (just fuzzy harsh golden hue—definitely Soderbergh’s distinct look) as backdrop mise-en-scene

Let Them All Talk is at its best when it is shot inside, interiors, letting Soderbergh’s lighting be the showcase

Like Ocean’s Eleven there is a bit of an assembling of the crew editing montage — Streep’s character in New York, Dianne Wiest, Candice Bergen is in Dallas, Lucas Hedges character is in Cleveland—in this beautiful bar. The best scenes in the film are in posh restaurants or bars. The majority of the film is shot aboard the Cunard—sort of like Ocean’s in the luxury hotels and casinos.

  • Thomas Newman’s strong jazzy score (another trademark of Soderbergh’s)
  • The ensemble cast (shot in snippets that never linger too long– Soderbergh’s editing) is marvelous. Streep plays a writer with this towering arrogance. Dianne Wiest with yet another 2020 archiveable film (I Care A Lot) as well. Wiest gets this great “night sky” speech that is well written. Streep gets the great line “it’s like polishing the vase when the house is falling down.”

Streep’s speech- Soderbergh serves as his own editor and cinematographer

Cinematic paintings aplenty—not only the opening copper wall in the restaurant but the shot of Chan and Ledges on the ship on the deck with the golden glow inside…

… and at the 93-minute mark Bergen and Streep are just sitting in a room talking—two actors, two visible lights—simple yet stunning- and nobody else shoots it like Soderbergh would.

  • Recommend but not in the top 10 of 2020