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Don't Look Up 

click to enlarge BLITHE SPIRITS U.S. President Janie Orleans (Meryl Streep) and her chief of staff son, Jason (Jonah Hill), brush off Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonrdo DiCaprio) and scientist Kate Dibiasky's (Jennifer Lawrence) warning of a planet-ending meteor strike, in Don't Look Up, a satire by writer-director Adam McKay. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HYPEROBJECTS  INDUSTRIES AND BLUEGRASS FILMS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Hyperobjects Industries And Bluegrass Films
  • BLITHE SPIRITS U.S. President Janie Orleans (Meryl Streep) and her chief of staff son, Jason (Jonah Hill), brush off Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonrdo DiCaprio) and scientist Kate Dibiasky's (Jennifer Lawrence) warning of a planet-ending meteor strike, in Don't Look Up, a satire by writer-director Adam McKay.

What's it rated? R

When? 2021

Where's it showing? The Palm Theater, Netflix

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Writer-director Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) helms this biting satire about the nonchalant global response to an impending planet-killing meteor strike. Mild-mannered astronomy professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his doctoral candidate student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discover the coming disaster and set about warning the world in the hopes that something will be done to avert catastrophe.

They first approach U.S. President Janie Orleans (Meryl Streep), a "leader" who has appointed her incompetent son, Jason (Jonah Hill), as her chief of staff. She blithely believes a "wait and see" response is best. If you're thinking Donald Trump and global warming, you're picking up what McKay is laying down. Then the pair of scientists decide to take the news to the people and go on a morning talk show with vacuous hosts Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) and Bree Evantee (Cate Blanchett), who treat the topic frivolously.

To deflect from a sex scandal, President Orleans finally acknowledges the meteor and launches a mission to destroy it ... until tech billionaire and major donor Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) discovers it's loaded with rare-earth elements worth billions more (yes, think Elon Musk).

Many have complained the film lacks subtlety, but satire isn't supposed to be subtle. When Jonathan Swift suggested eating babies in "A Modest Proposal" as a solution to the Irish famine in 1729, was subtlety his goal? It's also worth noting this film pulls off an amazing final act tonal shift that will stick with you after the credits roll. (145 min.) Δ

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