A trailer for Steven Soderbergh's Panama Papers drama, The Laundromat, is officially released online. The project was first confirmed in spring 2018, when it was announced big names like Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman had signed on to star. Based on a true story, The Laundromat chronicles the 2016 Panama Papers incident, which uncovered a number of shady financial activities worldwide, such as money laundering and offshore accounts. The film is said to be in a similar vein to Spotlight in how it tackles its timely subject matter. Soderbergh's frequent collaborator Scott Z. Burns penned the script.
Netflix has distribution rights to The Laundromat, and though the streaming giant already has titles like The Irishman and Marriage Story poised for deep Oscar runs, they're confident in The Laundromat's prospects too. Soderbergh's latest is premiering at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall before it's available to stream on Netflix. As cinephiles await the first wave of reviews for The Laundromat, they can now watch a preview.
Today, Netflix released a trailer for The Laundromat. Watch it for yourself in the space below:
Based on the trailer, the Spotlight comparison feels off in one respect. Rather than position The Laundromat as a harrowing, serious drama, it looks like Soderbergh's latest is going to be a slick dark comedy. The preview's bold title cards and bouncy soundtrack sell it as something that'll be an entertaining exploration into its subject matter. This isn't to say The Laundromat is going to make light of the situation, but Soderbergh's approach here resembles The Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short. In particular, Oldman looks to be having the time of his life portraying a sleazy lawyer, breaking the fourth wall and hamming it up alongside Antonio Banderas. Streep, unsurprisingly, seems to be characteristically great as the widow determined to uncover the scam and bring the millionaires down. Both her and Oldman could be in the running for awards nominations, depending on how things play out.
The Laundromat is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 1, so it won't be much longer until cinephiles see how this title stacks up against the other Oscar hopefuls looking to make waves this fall. Though he is a two-time nominee (with one win) for Best Director, it's been a while since Soderbergh found himself in the thick of the Academy Awards race and it would be nice to see him back in contention. As for Burns, he might be competing against himself, as his directorial effort The Report is also expected to be an Oscar player. Hopefully for him, at least one of these projects gains traction and scores him an Oscar nomination.
- The Laundromat (2019) release date: Oct 18, 2019