The trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s new film is here, and it’s a whirlwind.
is adapted from The Secrecy World by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jake Bernstein and centers around the infamous Panama Papers. Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, The Report) wrote the script. The trailer alone is so over the top, it is hard to believe this story was derived from real life, and also so unjust you don’t want to believe that it was.
The Laundromat follows Meryl Streep as Ellen Martin, who, as the trailer tells us, “loses everything” in some kind of scam. It’s already a preposterous suggestion that this three-time Oscar winner is a loser of anything, but Streep is so desperately frantic as Ellen convinces us that she has lost, and lost a lot. Determined to understand what happened with her money, Ellen finds herself investigating a fake insurance policy that she eventually tracks to a shady law firm, the purpose of which is to keep many millionaires around the world very, very rich. The founders of this establishment, Jürgen Mossack (Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas) are the architects of an underworld of secrecy and corruption, and if their flashy outfits, private jets and carefree demeanors are any indication, they thrive off those they scam without any guilt.
The trailer is fast-paced and jam-packed, so much so it takes multiple viewings to take it all in. There’s laughing, crying, and an extensive cast including Jeffrey Wright, Melissa Rauch, Jeff Michalski, Jane Morris, Robert Patrick, David Schwimmer, Cristela Alonzo, Larry Clarke, Will Forte, Chris Parnell, Nonso Anozie, Larry Wilmore, Jessica Allain, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Matthias Schoenaerts, Rosalind Chao, Kunjue Li and Ming Lo, with James Cromwell and Sharon Stone.
The whole trailer is doused in over-saturated technicolor that highlights the extravagance the millions these lawyers attained can bring. Oldman and Banderas have an awareness of the camera that is reminiscent of another financial exposé film, Adam McKay’s The Big Short, but this time, it’s the villains doing the explaining instead of celebrity cameos.
Even with so much going on, The Laundromat may be a film about complex scams that the average viewer can understand, particularly because it’s clear Ellen starts out swindled and becomes savvy throughout the film. Since The Laundromat follows her perspective, the viewer will likely learn the details of the fraud alongside her, while getting a fun, quirky film experience at the same time.
Catch the trailer below, and The Laundromat in select theaters and on Netflix later this fall.