The director dissects his new film for Première.
Released December 24, Don’t Look Up: Cosmic Denial a hit on Netflix France, where it simply sits at the top of the top 10 most viewed programs currently, ahead of The witcher and Emily in Paris. A success which can no doubt be explained by the 5-star cast of the film (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet), but also by its purpose.
Don’t look up: an irresistible joke demonstration [critique]
Because this story of a comet heading straight for Earth, without scientists succeeding in convincing the world of the danger of extinction threatening humanity, is clearly a metaphor for the climate crisis. And therefore the collective denial that prevents us from reacting as we should before it is too late.
“It’s a phenomenon that worries me as much as it fascinates me“, explains Adam McKay in the Premiere issue 525, available at newsstands and on our online store. “I said to myself that we could talk about that in a film (…) I had ideas for starting, but none satisfactory… Some were too dramatic, others more epic; I thought about making a thriller with twists and even a choral film. But nothing was working. And then, three years ago, my friend David Sirotta [écrivain et journaliste au Guardian], in anger, tweeted: ‘The comet is coming and nobody cares.’ It was awesome. Simple, efficient. “
Buy the Premiere n ° 525
With satire references such as Dr Folamour Where The chasm with chimeras, Adam McKay puts his foot in the dish (with too few subtleties according to some) and therefore dismisses the media, the people and our leaders to face their responsibilities. A film that arrives in a post-Trump America where scientific talk must fight against irrational opinions disconnected from factual considerations. “My goal is to kick people in the balls. To wake them up“, says the director of The Big Short and Vice, who abandoned pure comedy to tell the story of the decline of the United States in his own way.
Yet, McKay swears, the president played by Meryl Streep is not a caricature of Donald Trump. Well not that: “If you put Donald Trump in a movie, you don’t have a movie anymore! It’s impossible to make him evolve in a story … He’s a bit like Brick Tamland, the character of Steve Carell in The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Brick isn’t really in the movie, he moves in his own world, impulsive, unmanageable, unable to fit into an overall narrative arc. Trump is the same. During rehearsals, I asked Meryl to play a mix of the different presidents who have followed one another. It must have had George Bush’s lack of qualifications, the emptiness draped in a handsome Ronald Reagan suit, the duplicity of Bill Clinton’s car salesman, the orator skills that Barack Obama put in the service of big business and the Trump’s blind narcissism … an explosive cocktail.“
Interview by Pierre Lunn