Let Them All Talk is one of the biggest surprises of 2020. While some have regarded releases that go straight to streaming as a sign of the project’s quality, Director Steven Soderbergh’s latest project contradicts that sentiment. Let Them All Talk is a sleek and razor-sharp narrative that is enhanced by fantastic performances from Dianne Wiest and Candice Bergen. The story is about confronting past transgressions and addressing them. They say that time heals all wounds, but time often makes closure that much harder to accomplish. Starting a dialogue is often harder than having one.
The film centers on Alice (Meryl Streep), who is a best-selling author who has neither married nor had any children. The only people she has in her life that most would call family are her nephew Tyler (Lucas Hedges) and college friends Roberta (Candice Bergen) and Susan (Dianne Wiest). While Roberta, Susan, and Alice have all grown apart over a controversy involving Streep’s character picking parts of Roberta’s life and using them in one of her novels, Alice thinks nothing about inviting them on the Queen Mary 2 to go to London. She’s set to get a prestigious literary award and didn’t want to go to the event alone. Tyler accompanies them at the request of her agent, played by Gemma Chan, to make sure she stays on track to meet her latest book’s deadline, which is due in the coming year.
The magic of Let Them All Talk isn’t in the locales or even on the Queen Mary 2. Soderbergh’s latest film sizzles when Streep, Bergen, and Wiest are at different points interacting with one another. We see the obvious drawback of having too much time on your hands; people start to bring up the past. Instead of letting things stay in the past, they continuously regal each other with tails of past conquests, which inevitably pivots towards what Alice did Roberta. It was those moments that made the film such a joy to watch. Deborah Eisenberg did a tremendous job of crafting this story, so the film’s emotional truth was never compromised.