With Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling on the billing, two leading stars of the American cinema, the new comedy by Nisha Ganatra, Late Night, focuses on question du multi-culturalism in the United States without any taboo.
A made-to-measure role
Katherine Newbury, aka Emma Thompson(Oscar for Best Actress in Return to Howards End), is the star anchor woman of the famous talk-show Late Night in the United States. After having sacrificed everything for her job since twenty years, her hour of glory is fading: the audio mat is super low and the TV star is about to be fired by the production. Tough.
Katherine is not the modest type—more the snobby New York working girl, who has many similarities with the character of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. So it’s not surprising when she refers to the authors she works with by number. No empathy here, dissatisfied employees are fired on the spot. The tone is set.
But behind this extreme coldness is revealed a sensitive and complex personality that make the charm of her character. Nisha Ganatra and Mindy Kaling, respectively film director and scenographer, hit the bull’s eye by offering the part to Emma Thompson.
American style success story
While the talk-show is going under, Katherine with the help of her right hand man, played by Denis O’Hare(Tony Award of Best Actor as second role for a play), needs to bounce back and hire a woman to enhance his image.
It’s Molly Patel, aka Mindy Kaling(Amita in Ocean’s 8), a young woman of Indian origins, who is hired and sees her little girl dream come true by writing for a show by Katherine Newbury when she worked in a chemical complex. Stemming from a poverty stricken background in Pennsylvania, she is the living proof that one needs to fight in order to reach one’s goal.
Actress, but also screenwriter of the film, Mindy Kaling treats the multi-culturalism of New York with emotion because it’s a subject she knows very well, having herself suffered from discriminations that minorities are victims of. Nisha Ganatra, also of Indian origins, did not hesitate once second to collaborated with the actress.
Woman at the heart of the debate
At the hour of #metoo, womens’ place in the working world is an ongoing topic. Molly and Katherine are the perfect example. The famous anchor person who managed to climb to the top and be at the head of a popular show, while the TV industry is still a very masculine universe.
It’s also the case for Molly, when she is hired for the talk-show, and lands in a territory hostile to women. The authors are all men and misogynous clichés are non-stop. “A woman goes to bed after three weeks.”
Late Night, is also a willingness to prove that a woman, no matter her origins and her social situation, can succeed, have a job with a just as many i as a man, and that she can be happy sexually even is she goes to bed the first night. Nisha Ganatra and Mindy Kaling handle the subject with the right sincerity.
To be released on the 21st of August.