Movie Review: “Don’t Look Up”

Don't Look Up movie poster

Don’t Look Up

OVERALL: Wow. What a powerful and bold movie. Director and writer Adam McKay has made a powerful movie about cultural denial. Not easy to do and so well done. This is an incredibly courageous movie

The premise of this movie is that a comet will impact planet Earth in 6 months. How the information is handled by government, media, and basically people in general is viewed he same arguments under a searing microscope that is not reminiscent of how humans view climate change or COVID, but EXACTLY how humans are responding to the climate change and COVID. Also shown is how social media can be used to promote AND understand social messages. Just wow.

As the heroes and heroines of this movie will tell you, trust science, believe your eyes, and yes we can do something about this. Also don’t let money and billionaires, aka institutionalized greed, stop us from fixing problems.

It is a powerful movie that really leaves the viewer wondering how it will end. Up to the last second, you really don’t know. It was breathtaking.

Note: As I write this there are web articles complaining about the politics of the show. They are insulting. They are exactly behaving as the media did in the movie. Congratulations. You made the story even more real.   However! I do really like what Sheena Scott wrote: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Review: A Great Satire On Netflix. Good review.

POINTS: Not only is this a more than relevant movie, it is also beautifully done. Perfect script, acting, directing, and camera work. This movie uses close-ups to tell the story. I feel there were often camera shots of emptiness too. Very well crafted.     

PITFALLS: I would have liked it if the movie had touched a bit on how harshly women are treated by media as compared to men. Also odd that the single women were called Miss instead of Ms. Just found that odd.     

FEMALE CHARACTER(S): The discoverer of the comet is Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) who opens this movie.  President Orleans (Meryl Streep) is a perfect clueless and corrupt politician. Nearly unrecognizable is Cate Blanchett playing predatory newscaster Brie Evantee. There are other women in secondary character roles: Ariana Grande as singing superstar Riley Bina; Melanie Lynskey as June Mindy; and Hettienne Park as head of NASA Dr. Calder. There are also many women in the background so you never feel women are not part of this story. It is good.

CULTURAL PITFALL(S):  Well a tiny one. Why did they always say Miss instead of Ms? Interesting choice. But hey, this is tiny.

HIGH POINT(S):  This is excellently made and acted. What I liked the most, the high point for me as I wondered the entire time, was that they did not wimp out on the ending. It was what it should have been. Wow. And the ending alone is why everyone should watch.    

Data Points: At one point in the movie a character says that they have more data points about another character and can therefore predict everything about them. My thought was “so what?” In fact I wanted the character to ask Mr. Big Data “So what? If you can’t deal with reality and fix an oncoming crisis, then what good is your data?” Frankly I could write an entire blog post about that one interaction.

BECHDEL TEST (Website): 2.5 of 3. The 2.5 is because this is a big ensemble piece so characters are rarely in a scene with only two. There is equal talking between the men and women and that is good.

RACIAL BECHDEL TEST (Website): 3 of 3.        


LION PAW PRINTS: 4 of 5. Excellent movie.    

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