Significant differences of opinion surfaced as reviews of “Barbie” unfolded ahead of its weekend’s release.
Some thought Greta Gerwig, acclaimed director of Lady Bird and Little Women, lived up to expectations for a more subversive take on the 11.5-inch Mattel phenomenon. They said the script, written by Gerwig in collaboration with her partner Noah Baumbach, was criticized over the years by the Barbie brand, including the unrealistic representation of the female body and, until recently, the lack of diversity in the Barbie brand. I thought I had succeeded in acknowledging the Collection — while presenting a comedy that leans into the fun weirdness of the world of Barbie. Others felt that the director held criticism of consumerism and women’s beauty standards to a superficial level and did not do enough to denounce the sponsoring companies.
Critics tend to agree, however, in praising the film’s star, and much like Ryan Gosling’s work, it’s an eye-opening experience outside the world of meticulously crafted dolls. He admired Margot Robbie’s amazing emotional depth as the so-called stereotypical Barbie on a journey. A deadpan comedy about Ken rejoicing in the discovery of patriarchy.
Read on for some highlights.
‘Barbie’ could be the most disruptive blockbuster of the 21st century [Rolling Stone]
David Fear says the film not only avoids a two-hour Mattel commercial, but also suggests that the film could be “the most subversive blockbuster of the 21st century yet.” writing.
“This is a story of self-actualization filtered through both a spirit of free play and a sense that the real world is not all about fun and play. ’ writes Fear. “This movie is about getting a dream house and wanting to burn it down as well.”
You don’t have to score Barbie on the curve [Vulture]
One of the most critical reviews of the film’s approach to gender politics, Alison Willmore wrote, “The film updates rather than rebukes corporatized feminism”, writing, ” It’s as if you see a series of defensive postures against ‘Barbie’, pointing out as if it’s going to attack Barbie.” Anticipating and approving criticisms submitted against it before it’s done is needed. ”
“Being a movie buff these days means that franchises, cinematic universes, remakes and other adaptations of older IPs become black holes that swallow artists who yearn to emerge in this rare project. Coming from a small precinct, it feels like it was man-made,” she writes. “Barbie certainly did. It could create new ways to do things.”
Even Greta Gerwig has a limit to how much dimension this brand material can give. [New York Times]
The Times’ chief film critic, Manohra Dargis, praised Gerwig, writing that “her directing is so fluent that it seems as though she was born into filmmaking”, but the film is “a mess.” It largely avoids contradictions and problems.” Criticism that clings to dolls. ”
“Gerwig occasionally throws in some minor criticism, like when a teenage girl accused Barbie of promoting consumerism just before she befriends the heroine, but it’s more about the adult audience than anything else. It feels like they’re just giving us a wink,” Darges said. I wrote.
Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie imagine a doll’s life unexpectedly rich [The Chicago Tribune]
“A $145 million studio movie based on a doll, with accessories sold separately, definitely has some limitations,” writes Michael Phillips. “Still, this feels really spontaneous and fun.” Giving the film a 3.5 out of 4 start, he said Mattel “could have done things a lot safer” and said, “‘ “Many of Barbie’s biggest laughs are at Mattel’s sacrifice.”
Ryan Gosling plays great plastic role in rag doll comedy [The Guardian]
Peter Bradshaw was one of the critics who felt that Gosling had usurped the show’s lead and that Barbie herself had been reduced to a “bland comic foil”. Regarding the film’s self-perception, he was in the more cynical camp of critics, calling it “funny and amiable, but with a softcore punch and lightly ironic, a celebration of toys that still exist.” nostalgia,” he said.
Welcome to Greta Gerwig’s very funny feminist dreamhouse [Entertainment Weekly]
Devan Kogan described the film as “full of winking one-liners” and, while acknowledging Gosling’s praise, insisted that Robbie “remains a real star”.
“Physically, this blonde Australian actress already looks like she came out of a Mattel box (something the movie itself plays in certain gags), but she’s impressively transformative. ,” she wrote. She’s actually made of plastic. Robbie has brought manic physicality to her past films like Babylon and Birds of Prey, but she’s now maxed out on physical comedy. ”
Greta Gerwig’s plastic world is amazing [Collider]
Ross Bonheim said that ‘Barbie’ could have been ‘more than a toy ad’, but instead ‘the difficulty of being a woman, the terrifying nature of life in general, the understanding of trying to be perfect, etc. It became an existential look at the It’s absurd, but it also encapsulates everything Barbie has given people, both good and bad. ”
Bonheim called Gerwig’s behind-the-camera work “vibrant and daring,” and narrated a pop-star-filled soundtrack with songs by Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice. He also praised his works.
margot robbie doll artist [Los Angeles Times]
Justin Chang described the film as “conceptually playful and fashion-wise dazzling comic fantasy”, and “Barbie” succeeds in bringing debate to both Barbie-haters and Barbie-lovers alike. suggests that there are
“Gerwig envisioned ‘Barbie’ as a bubblegum emulsion of silliness and sophistication, a painting that both promotes and deconstructs its own brand,” he writes. “It doesn’t just mean updating the endless ‘Barbie: Is it Good or Bad?’ discussion. It wants to enact The debate allowed us to vigorously discuss both positions for the better part of two fast-paced, blisteringly multitasking hours. ”