The teaser trailer for Greta Gerwig’s a lot anticipated Barbie is lastly right here, giving us only a style of its star-studded solid, campy costumes, and intelligent references to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Mattel’s iconic Barbie and Ken dolls, it’s clear from simply the minute-long teaser why Gerwig is the right director to convey Barbie to life on the massive display for the very first time.
Why Greta Gerwig?
Although now extra well known as a director, Gerwig received her begin appearing in mumblecore movies within the mid-2000s, earlier than reaching extra mainstream success when she started working with frequent collaborator, and now associate, Noah Baumbach. Earlier than co-writing Barbie collectively, Gerwig and Baumbach co-wrote Frances Ha and Mistress America, with Gerwig starring because the lead in each. In 2016, she performed supporting roles in Jackie and twentieth Century Girls, and stars in Baumbach’s newest movie White Noise, coming to Netflix on December thirtieth.
Gerwig made her solo directorial debut in 2017 with Lady Bird, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age dramedy about highschool senior Christine ‘Girl Fowl’ McPherson as she makes an attempt to search out herself and navigates an advanced relationship along with her mom. It was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, together with Finest Unique Screenplay — additionally written by Gerwig — and Finest Director, making her the fifth woman to ever be nominated within the class.
Primarily based on the teaser trailer and a few leaked set pictures, Barbie already seems to be a lot totally different from her first two movies, however Gerwig isn’t any stranger to adapting present mental property. Her second movie Little Women, launched in 2019, is an adaptation of Louisa Might Alcott’s 1868 novel of the identical title, incomes six Academy Award nominations and respiration new life right into a beloved American basic.
Gerwig’s profession and what we’ve seen of the movie thus far, it’s clear why she is the perfect director for a venture like Barbie. As a writer-director, she brings a sure ardour and sensitivity to her exploration of ladies’s points and relationships in her movies. Her distinctive humorousness and a spotlight to element are positive to convey a way of self-awareness to an idea that might simply stay one-dimensional in a special director’s arms.
One other notable feat of Gerwig’s is her capability to assemble a robust ensemble solid to reinforce her already distinctive screenplays. Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet each starred in her first two movies, accompanied by the likes of Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf in Girl Fowl, and Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Florence Pugh in Little Girls. For Girl Fowl and Barbie, Gerwig teamed up with Allison Jones, the casting director behind The Workplace, and films like Superbad and Bridesmaids. With Ronan and Chalamet nowhere in sight, Barbie marks the primary time Gerwig has labored with Robbie and Gosling together with the intensive supporting solid together with Issa Rae, Ncuti Gatwa, America Ferrera, Ritu Arya, and lots of extra.
That is notably Gerwig’s most various solid thus far, a component that’s significantly vital in a movie about Barbie, a model that has an extended historical past of selling a really explicit and exclusionary magnificence customary. For almost all of Barbie’s historical past, the basic blonde archetype dominated the market, however the model has developed considerably through the years to incorporate dolls of various races, ethnicities, and physique sorts. That is mirrored within the solid, with Rae, Gatwa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, and Hari Nef set to play totally different variations of Barbie and Ken, and in addition that includes plus-size actresses Nicola Coughlan and Sharon Rooney.
Why Barbie… and why now?
Mattel’s Barbie is without doubt one of the most recognizable toys on the planet, beloved by generations, however has additionally been topic to loads of criticism and debate over its a few years available on the market, significantly over the shortage of variety among the many dolls and Barbie’s unrealistic physique proportions, reinforcing a largely unattainable magnificence customary – skinny, white, blonde, with blue eyes, a big bust, and a tiny waist. In recent times Mattel has made many modifications to rebrand itself as progressive and empowering to younger women, putting extra deal with their Profession Dolls, which include equipment pertaining to totally different occupations like medical professionals, scientists, and lecturers. The Barbie Role Models line launched in 2015, and the Inspiring Women line a number of years later, honoring sturdy feminine position fashions of the previous and current, together with ladies like Maya Angelou, Naomi Osaka, and Misty Copeland. With this in thoughts, it is fully doable we may see the discharge of a Greta Gerwig doll sooner or later within the lead-up to the movie’s launch.
Barbie’s incorporation of feminist messages in its branding additionally aligns properly with the last word determination to have Gerwig write and direct the upcoming movie. Gerwig is perceptive in her portrayal of ladies, their advanced interior lives, and the nuances of their relationships with one another and with males. She’s already tackled a feminist story in Little Girls, and we are going to possible see some extent of subversion in her tackle one of the vital recognizable symbols of hegemonic femininity. Her parody of the opening sequence of 2001: A Area Odyssey is a intelligent, tongue-in-cheek metaphor for the great impression Barbie had on American tradition upon its launch. It was the first toy doll with adult features to be mass-produced in the USA, basically changing the newborn doll, and giving younger women one thing to aspire to, for higher or worse. The teaser exhibits a number of little women taking part in with child dolls, till Barbie seems, a giantess donning the signature black and white bathing go well with and curly blonde bangs of the primary Barbie doll launched in 1959. The women are awe-struck, and when Barbie flashes them a pearly smile and a playful wink, they promptly smash their child dolls to items.
This teaser alone demonstrates Gerwig’s distinctive method to the supply materials and her understanding of Barbie’s historical past. She is aware of what audiences expect after they hear the phrases “Barbie film,” however rapidly makes it clear that Barbie will probably be extra than simply bleached blonde hair and cute outfits. As Robbie put it in an interview with British Vogue final yr, “Folks typically hear ‘Barbie’ and assume, ‘I do know what that film goes to be,’ after which they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and so they’re like, ‘Oh, properly, perhaps I don’t…’”