I wouldn't have been poised enough constructing this tweet to spell "BREAKING" right either. My brain is still melting. I don't know how I'm even keeping any semblance of composure. And it's not because of Margot Robbie's stunning beauty. That much isn't surprising or anything any reasonable person would deny. No. It's that whatever the hell I thought Greta Gerwig might be cooking up with this new Barbie movie was instantly turned on its head.
The specific element to this trailer that got me most amped was the pitch-perfect homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of the greatest films ever. That whole "Dawn of Man" sequence is what's being parodied here. It's been done well multiple times before, not least of which was in Zoolander when they were trying to figure out how to work a computer. I'm partial as well as to Tom Cruise's character introduction in Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (kind of doubles as a reference to 2001's rousing conclusion).
But this is, like, a whole other satirical level. It's really over-the-top and on-the-nose symbolism, making Barbie out to be this cultural phenomenon who captures the hearts and minds of little girls as a role model — AND THAT'S THE POINT. We're seeing Barbie painted as the next step/great leap forward in commercialism, with Robbie giving off that cartoonish, phony smile to underscore the message.
And would you look at that!
I could probably go on much longer about that whole thing but let's keep it moving, because the trailer doesn't stop there! We get a taste of what Barbie's world looks like, and wowww. Not to just go on ad nauseam about all-time classics, but I got serious Singin' in the Rain vibes from the set design and quick flashes of Simu Liu and Robbie with a crew of dancers. It looks like we'll have at least some Old Hollywood-style musical numbers, which in my opinion is absolutely never a bad thing.
Then of course there's the one and only Ryan Gosling with that bleached hair look as Ken. He's gazing all intense as hell in the only brief cut we see of him. No clear idea what his role as Barbie's love interest is going to entail given the seemingly off-the-wall creative direction this movie seems to be taking, but I can't wait to find out.
I can't be the only one who thinks Barbie looks incredible, aesthetically and story-wise. Also didn't realize Gerwig's partner and award-winning filmmaker Noah Baumbach served as a co-writer on this project. Although some of Baumbach's dialogue can be a little too inside baseball/highbrow intellectual/hyper-colloquially New York at times, I'd definitely say I'm a fan. So that only adds to my hype levels.
Been a bit of a dry time at the cineplexes lately (Avatar sequel release notwithstanding), but WOW are we in for a hell of a Summer 2023. Just in June and July alone, in release order:
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
- The Flash
- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
- Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning (Part One)
Sharing a July 21 release date with Christopher Nolan's epic Oppenheimer is a bold move on Barbie's part. Before seeing this trailer it'd be easy for me to write the movie off and give the not-so-hot take it'll struggle at the box office, especially in the context of a reported $100 million budget. But no!! I'm blown away by how excited I suddenly am for Barbie. I think it's gonna be a hit.