We have been hyped for Barbie for months, and with the arrival of the full trailer, well, the hype is reaching new, “bespoke song” levels. After a couple of stellar teasers, Barbie allows us into Barbieland, where Margot Robbie’s Barbie is having an existential crisis and suddenly flat feet and her waterless shower is COLD. Something is wrong with Barbie! She must go to the real world to figure it out, Ken in tow. There, she meets people who love Barbie and those who hate Barbie—smart to acknowledge the complicated feelings invoked by Barbie and her impossible body image.
My only concern for this film, at this point, is that the real-world stuff won’t be able to match the energy and wild imagination of the Barbieland stuff, but 1) that might be the entire point, let’s find out, and 2) I am willing to see where Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach take it.
Besides the new trailer—which is super-duper charming, I love the Barbieland details like Barbie floating down from her bedroom, as if being moved by an invisible child’s hand—Margot Robbie is also Vogue’s summer cover star. Robbie is not a particularly invigorating interview subject (I blame that gross Vanity Fair profile for shutting her down forever), and that remains true with the new Vogue profile. The best parts are not about Robbie—who can rollerblade without brakes and supports Aussie-owned businesses in LA—but details about Barbie. For instance, as a producer, Robbie and her partners at LuckyChap, her production shingle, worked to ensure Gerwig and Baumbach had the creative freedom to write whatever kind of Barbie movie they wanted, and they did. The article repeatedly emphasizes that Warner Bros. and Mattel were not involved in the scripting process.
The profile, by Abby Aguirre, also includes tidbits about cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto’s work on the film. Prieto is Martin Scorsese’s current go-to DP, and he’s worked with Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Ben Affleck, Pedro Almodóvar, Julie Taymor, Oliver Stone, and Alejandro Iñárritu. Besides Barbie, Prieto also has Killers of the Flower Moon due this year, which as we know from that teaser, looks gorgeous. For Barbie, though, Prieto developed a unique color palette called “Techni-Barbie” and set designer Sarah Greenwood also emphasizes the “mad fantasy of gorgeousness” of Barbie’s world. It’s the thing we’ve been losing our minds over since the first teaser, the hyper-colorful, super fake yet also obviously practical sets (shot on soundstages in London) of Barbieland which are, yes, a deliberate callback to the era of Technicolor musicals.
In other Barbie news, the soundtrack lineup was announced, and it features a new song from Dua Lipa (who plays a Barbie in the film), “Dance the Night”, which debuted last night. Like all of Dua’s songs, it’s good. The soundtrack also features Lizzo, Charli XCX, Dominic Fike, Tame Impala, Ice Spice, Nicki Minaj, HAIM, and Ryan Gosling. (Remember when The Gos blew off Hollywood for a couple years in the 2010s and toured with his weird band instead?)
The album is produced by Mark Ronson.
Finally, we now know that Margot Robbie plays “Stereotypical Barbie” and that Barbie can do or be anything at any moment, but Ken’s whole deal is “just beach”. Perfection.