I often lament that the years 2020 and 2021 were a movie desert. And I get it; we were in a pandemic, most of us were too scared to go to a theater, so naturally studios put everything decent on hold. But there was one incredible 2020 release that was my shining exception: Steven Soderbergh’s poignant, humorous, wonderfully female-centric film Let Them All Talk (Disc/Download).
I lament the pandemic years, but frankly, my problem with new releases started long before the word “coronavirus” entered our lexicon. For some time, I’ve felt like nobody’s making movies for me. Movies rich in storytelling and character development, low on special effects, featuring fascinating female characters. Thank heaven for Steven Soderbergh, Meryl Streep, Dianne Wiest, and Candice Bergen, who gave me just what I wanted in this tale about a literary icon crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 with her college friends. Her nephew (Lucas Hedges) is also along for the trip, and though he’s certainly the odd man out in terms of gender and age, watching him interact with this group of complex mature women is a true joy. As these characters rehash old wounds and old times, trying to connect after decades of separation, their individual personalities create more drama than an explosion or gun fight ever could. It’s a travesty that Candice Bergen didn’t score an Oscar nom for her salty gold digger character Roberta, but frankly, Dianne and Meryl were robbed too. These women are all fantastic. I could watch them talk for hours, and the fact that they’re doing it on a beautiful cruise ship with elegant cocktail lounges and a library to die for? This is a movie for me.
Speaking of elegant cocktail lounges, a lot of champagne gets served on this ship. It definitely makes me want to enjoy a sparkling beverage while I watch, and why not celebrate my favorite feisty Texan Roberta with a margarita version of a French ’75? While watching Let Them All Talk, I recommend drinking a Champagne Margarita.
1 ½ oz Tequila
¾ oz Orange Liqueur
¾ oz Lime Juice
4 oz Champagne
Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a champagne flute. Dip the rim in salt, then set aside. In a shaker with ice, combine tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Shake until chilled, then strain into prepared flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with lime twist.
Naturally, I love the literary aspect to this film, particularly the contrast between Meryl Streep’s Pulitzer Prize-winning character and a commercial mystery writer also on the ship. I can only dream of a future where people are so eager for my next manuscript my agent would tag along on an ocean voyage to spy on my progress, but you never know what the next thirty years will bring. Maybe I’ll be wrapped up in shawls and ego soon enough. Cheers!