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Oscar winners assemble for climate warning comedy ‘Don’t Look Up’

file photo: 44th toronto international film festival
Meryl Streep

By Alicia Powell

Director Adam McKay has assembled an all-star cast brimming with Oscar winners to give a humorous warning about climate change in new movie “Don’t Look Up”.

In the Netflix film, Academy award winners Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play two astronomers who set out to warn the world of an approaching comet set to destroy the planet. But the message falls on deaf ears, starting with Meryl Streep’s President Janie Orlean.

“I think the big trick is we want you to laugh … The great thing about test screening the movie was right, left wing were all laughing,” McKay, known for “The Big Short” and “Vice”, said at the film’s premiere on Sunday night.

“The commonality we’re going for here is like, what have we done to each other? I mean, this polarisation and this nonsense like, come on, can’t we get back to basics? So, it’s kind of political and then, at the same time, completely not political.”

Three-time Oscar winner Streep, whose character’s first reaction to the bad news is “to sit tight and assess”, said the movie’s message was simple: “Look up … we know what’s coming and we know we can do something about it.”

The comedy sees DiCaprio and Lawrence’s characters desperately try to get their message across and kicking off a media campaign.

“I think we all looked at this as an incredibly unique gift,” DiCaprio, himself a vocal environmental campaigner, said. “We’d all been wanting to get the message out there about the climate crisis and Adam really cracked the code with creating this narrative.”

The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance and singer Ariana Grande.

“Don’t Look Up”, which will have a limited theatrical release, begins streaming on Netflix on Dec. 24.

 

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