The first movie that I will review from HBO Max is the new film starring Meryl Streep called Let Them All Talk.
Meryl Streep is a huge star. She is considered one of the best actors of the last couple of decades. Having her new movie on the streaming service is a big deal. Of course, HBO Max is heading toward huge releases starting with WW84 on Christmas. Let Them All Talk is a nice way to kick it off.
Meryl Streep played Alice, a famous author who was taking a cruise to England to accept a prestigious award and she invited her old college friends Roberta and Susan (Candice Bergen & Dianne Wiest) to travel with her. The three friends had fallen away from one another in the years since Alice’s success.
Alice also invited her nephew Tyler (Lucas Hedges) to come along. Tyler was the glue that keeps the trio together and managed to handle whatever came up. One of those details was the publishing house’s agent Karen (Gemma Chan) who was trying to find out what Alice was writing, with the hope that it was a sequel to her huge hit book, that incidentally revealed a ton of details on the life of Roberta.
The film is harmless and focuses on the three ladies, as well as a “relationship” between Tyler and the older Karen. There were some solid performances in the film and the characters were well developed. However, there was no doubt that the character that I enjoyed the most was Roberta and the main reason for that was the charming and exceptional Candice Bergen.
Bergen got the meatiest character to play, a woman whose difficult life came from the publishing of the original book and who looked to be out for herself. Among other things, she was on the prowl across the ship for a potential husband who may have plenty of money. Roberta’s back story was just as fascinating making you wonder exactly what kind of person she was.
Meryl Streep’s Alice was played snooty and overbearing, yet there was something relatable to her. That may be because of Streep’s overt charm. You warm to her as the film pressed on and you realized that there was more to the story than what you could see.
Steven Soderbergh directed this movie and it was a solid and enjoyable experience as three great legendary actresses chewed up the scenes. I will admit that the scenes with Lucas Hedges and Gemma Chen were less interesting for me, but they are harmless and help play into the overall narrative. Alice’s connection to Tyler is one of the things that helped to humanize her for the audience.
The ending took a turn that I did not expect and that is always welcomed.