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:: The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada takes a rogueish, often ironic gaze at the superficial world of fashion publishing. The film takes an ironic, yet subtly sympathetic, look at the fashion world. Yet it is no lightweight fluff, despite it being a film about fashion, and at times is loosely moralising, poking fun at the fashion industry so much as to highlight serious issues

Meryl Streep stars as a Miranda Priestly, the fashion editor ascended from hell - an immaculetly groomed character that has the ruthlessness of Cruella De Ville, the coldness of the Snow Queen and the poise of real life of the notoriously similar American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour. Streep steals the show. She adds a fabulous and enigmatic performance to a “chick flick”

Anne Hathaway plays Andrea, a wholesome budding journalist who becomes Priestly’s assistant and, accordingly, is corrupted by some of Priestly’s evil as well. Hathaway’s acting is fine - she has improved since she first emerged as in The Princess Diaries to playing a more complex character in Brokeback Mountain. However, in this film she seems to revert back to her teen approved character of The Princess Diaries. We know the formula - dowdy, geeky girl turns into a sexy, savvy princess, well in this case, a fashion princess perhaps, but with the next Princess Diaries instalment coming soon, do we really need this character again?
Home grown Simon Baker plays a well connected Prince charming type. Maybe it’s Baker’s Australian-ness, but he cant seem to pull off the arrogant, swaggering playboy all that convincingly.

Sex In The City fans - you will be smiling because this film has a massive SITC element to it. Namely, the film’s plot is curiously similar to SITC’s last episodes. Let’s observe. Carrie is a writer, and Andrea is a journalist too. Both breathe Manolos. Both are filmed running out of New York apartments in haute couture hailing taxis. Both travel to Paris. Both realise that, while Paris is beautiful, their home is always New York…. And so on.

But, this influence is not surprising, considering that David Frankel, director of SITC, directed The Devil Wears Prada, and Patricia Field was the costume designer. Watch it just for its setting – the accompanying usual fashionista friendly New York - teetering stilettos dashing across heavy traffic carrying loaded trays of Starbucks coffee. There’s that terrible weather, but there’s also that high end glamour of fashion publishing that enthrals us all.

And watch for cameos by those in the fashion industry like Gisele Bundchen and Valentino.