Don’t Look Up Movie Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence Headlining Superb Climate Change Satire | Hollywood


In the span of two days, we have two big budget Hollywood releases that tell us humanity is doomed. The Matrix Resurrections, released December 22, and Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, released Friday on Netflix, conclude that humans are too happy and selfish to want to come out of their denial of our current horrors of late capitalism. , economic precariousness, political unrest and climate change.

McKay’s satire, Don’t Look Up, revolves primarily around the latter of these concerns, but touches on the others as well. The film unfolds like a funny and horrifying allegory of how world leaders, businesses and mainstream media deal with global warming and its consequences. McKay and co-writer David Sirota, who is editor-in-chief of American socialist magazine Jacobin, achieve this by giving the characters in the film the challenge of surviving a destructive comet that will strike Earth in six months. By accelerating the process of impending destruction that climate change is expected to bring, McKay and Sirota attempt to refine, predict, and comment on global responses to cataclysmic events.

Watch the Don’t Look Up Trailer:

McKay who has been on a roll, turning anti-capitalist critiques into popular Hollywood movies, starting with The Big Short and following it with Vice, delivers mostly perfect satire. Don’t Look Up follows two astronomers, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr. Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), who embark on a media tour to tell the world about the comet. The tour gets more and more bizarre and gets out of hand as the world is clearly missing its message.

First, they meet President Orléans (Meryl Streep), whose Donald Trump-style demeanor probably seems less rude because of her gender. Her chief of staff is her hyper-materialistic son Jason (Jonah Hill) who frequently comments on his mother’s warmth. “Keep it simple, no math,” advises scientist Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) to astronomers on the Pea-Minded Orleans briefing. They first dismiss Mindy and Dibiasky’s concerns, but return when President Orlean is embroiled in a sex scandal, for which she plans to repair her image by turning the comet-destroying mission into her Go-America moment.

Are Sirota and McKay suggesting that a woman president wouldn’t have been better, contrary to what Hilary Clinton-stans think? On President Orleans’ desk is a photo of Bill Clinton giving him a kiss.

Orleans’ plans to destroy the comet are soon compromised by their mega-donor, tech mogul Isherwell (Mark Rylance), who tells the White House there are $ 140 trillion in useful minerals in the comet , so she should be allowed to strike Earth.

Dibiasky is forced to leave the network by the authorities because she rants on television over the madness and selfishness of all those around her. However, Mindy is becoming a media sensation overnight due to her good looks and great personality. One of his fans declares that he is an AILF (Astronomer I’d Like To F ** k).

Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry in a still from the film.

Among the characters encountered by Dibiasky-Mindy is a cheerful news anchor duo, played by Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry. Ron Perlman plays a veteran American soldier, who makes no apologies for his racism and sexism. Ariana Grande plays a popstar and Himesh Patel plays the kind of internet content writer who gives journalism a bad name.

As the comet approaches, the population is polarized into two camps: “just look up”, supported by Mindy and Dibiasky, and “don’t look up”, supported by the Orléans and Isherwell. When Mindy challenges Isherwell on the scientific validity of his plan, Isherwell criticizes Mindy for seeing him as a “businessman” instead of a visionary, and calls Mindy a “lifestyle idealist,” a conclusion based on Isherwell’s data analysis of Mindy’s online behavior. (Isherwell also predicts that President Orleans will die from what is called a “Brontorec,” which has a great punchline that appears at the end of the movie).

While the Patriots accuse Mindy and Dibiasky of being “Marxists brandishing the word science,” Jason emphasizes the government’s anti-intellectual and anti-science stance. In a rally, he says that there are three kinds of people: the working class meaning their supporters, the “rich cool” meaning themselves, and then the others who think they are better. With the end of the world appearing closer than ever, Dibiasky enters a hopeless romantic situation with street skater Yule (Timothee Chalamet). A scene featuring the lovebirds explains why more and more people are getting married during the pandemic.

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McKay’s movie and the executive-produced HBO show Succession makes me wonder if we can even call it satire, when much of the behavior of these characters is close to what we see in reality. In a world that has known Donald Trump’s presidency, can we seem more satirical?

McKay’s directing style, combining rambling imagery and video to communicate a point in the style of Soviet montage theory, truly captures the chaotic way we consume and understand news and culture today. The film also reminded me of the superb dystopian satire of Mike Judge Idiocracy, released in 2006. It is set in 2505 in America, a corporate nation addicted to insane entertainment, sex and violence, while the global collective IQ has hit rock bottom. Don’t Look Up is probably what the 21st century would have looked like in the idiocratic world.

Do not seek
Director: Adam mckay
To throw: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill and others


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