White Noise (2022 film)

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White Noise
Release poster
Directed byNoah Baumbach
Screenplay byNoah Baumbach
Based onWhite Noise
by Don DeLillo
Produced by
CinematographyLol Crawley
Edited byMatthew Hannam
Music byDanny Elfman
Distributed byNetflix
Release dates
  • August 31, 2022 (2022-08-31) (Venice)
  • November 25, 2022 (2022-11-25) (United States)
Running time
136 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$80–140 million[2][3]
Box office$79,040[4]

White Noise is a 2022 absurdist comedy drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach, adapted from the 1985 novel with the same title by Don DeLillo.[5] It is Baumbach's first directed feature not to be based on an original story of his own. The film stars Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, and Don Cheadle. Set in the 1980s, the story follows the life of a niche academic and his family as they go through trials and tribulations, beginning with an environmental disaster near their home.

White Noise had its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2022, and was released in select theaters on November 25, 2022, before its streaming release on December 30, by Netflix. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with Baumbach's direction, cinematography, cast performances (particularly Driver's), and Danny Elfman's score receiving praise, although the film's screenplay, varying tones, and length divided many.


In 1984, Jack Gladney is a professor of "Hitler studies" (a field he founded) at the College-on-the-Hill in Ohio. Despite his specialism, he speaks no German and is secretly taking basic lessons to prepare for a speech he is due to give at a conference. Jack is married to Babette, his fourth wife. Together, they raise a blended family with four children: Heinrich and Steffie, from two of Jack's previous marriages; Denise, from Babette's previous marriage; and Wilder, a child they conceived together. Denise spies on Babette and finds her secret prescription stash of Dylar, a mysterious drug not in the usual records. Jack experiences a dream about a mysterious man trying to kill him, alluding to an earlier conversation with Babette focused on their mutual fear of death. Jack's colleague, Murray Siskind, a professor of American culture, wishes to develop a similarly niche field, "Elvis studies,” and convinces Jack to help him. They briefly become rivals as competition between their courses arises.

However, their lives are disrupted when a cataclysmic train accident casts a cloud of chemical waste over the town. This "Airborne Toxic Event" forces a massive evacuation, which leads to a major traffic jam on the highway. Jack drives to a gas station to refill his car, where he is inadvertently exposed to the cloud. The family and numerous others are forced into quarantine at a summer camp. Murray supplies Jack with a small palm-sized pistol to protect himself against the more dangerous survivalists in the camp. One day, chaos ensues when multiple families desperately try to escape the camp. The Gladneys almost make it out but ultimately end up with their car floating in the river. They later arrive in Iron City, where they encounter a man who rants about the lack of media attention on the evacuees and spots Jack, claiming he had seen him before looking at him. After nine days, the family manages to return home. However, since Jack was briefly exposed to the chemical waste, his fear of death becomes exacerbated.

Later, everything has returned to normal except for Babette, who has become pale, lethargic and emotionally distant from Jack and the rest of the family. Soon afterward, Jack begins having hallucinations of a mysterious, balding man following him around. Denise shares her concerns regarding Dylar and Jack confronts Babette. She admits to having joined a shadowy clinical trial for a drug to treat death anxieties, and when she was cut from the trial, agreed to having sex with "Mr. Gray" in exchange for a continuing supply of the drug. Intrigued by the idea, Jack asks Denise for the Dylar bottle, but she reveals she threw it away earlier. While digging through the garbage, Jack finds a newspaper ad for Dylar, prompting him to retrieve his pistol and get revenge on Mr. Gray. Jack tracks him down at a motel, where he discovers that Mr. Gray was the man in his hallucinations. Jack shoots him and places the gun in his hand so as to make it look like suicide. Babette unexpectedly shows up and sees a still-alive Mr. Gray, who manages to shoot them both. After Jack and Babette convince the confused Mr. Gray that he is responsible for their injuries, they take him to a nearby hospital run by German atheist nuns. There, the couple also reconcile with each other.

The next day, the Gladneys shop at an A&P supermarket, where the family participates in a dance number with all the other patrons and employees.




On July 28, 2004, Barry Sonnenfeld was set to direct the film adaptation of Don DeLillo's White Noise from a script by Stephen Schiff.[6] In 2016, Uri Singer acquired the rights to the book and pushed the project into development. On October 17, 2016, Michael Almereyda was set to write and direct the film adaptation.[7] On January 13, 2021, it was revealed that Noah Baumbach would be adapting and directing the film for Netflix producing alongside David Heyman and Uri Singer.[8][9]


On December 22, 2020, Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig were cast in the film.[10] In April 2021, Raffey Cassidy, May Nivola and Sam Nivola joined the cast of the film.[11][12] In June 2021, Jodie Turner-Smith entered negotiations to join the cast.[13] She would confirm her involvement the next month, as well as revealing Don Cheadle would star as well.[14] In August 2021, it was announced André Benjamin had joined the cast of the film.[15]


Principal photography began in June 2021, under the working title Wheat Germ.[16][17] Filming took place in Ohio, including the University of Akron for approximately six weeks, Ashtabula Pine Lake Raceway and Trail Riding, Cleveland Heights, The College of Wooster, Wellington, Oberlin, Dorset, Hiram College, Andrews Osborne Academy in Willoughby, Kent State University,[18] in Lowell Klienfelter Stadium on the campus of Canton Central Catholic High School in Stark County Ohio and in Perry Township, near Salem.[17] The train crash scene was filmed in East Palestine, which would later suffer a similar disaster in 2023.[19]

Filming took place in downtown Cleveland on November 4, 2021, with scenes shot on the Hope Memorial Bridge.[20]


The film score is composed by Danny Elfman, which was released into a soundtrack album on November 18, 2022.[21][22] LCD Soundsystem reunited to record their first new music in over five years for the film. Titled "New Body Rhumba", the song was released as a single on September 30.[23][24]


White Noise had its world premiere as the opening film of the 79th Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2022,[25] and also served as the opening film for the 2022 New York Film Festival on September 30.[26] It also screened at the 31st Philadelphia Film Festival in October 2022.[27] The film was theatrically released in the United States by Netflix on November 25, 2022, before its streaming release on December 30.[28]


Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, White Noise holds a rating of 63% based on 256 reviews, with an average rating of 6.5/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "White Noise may occasionally struggle with its allegedly unfilmable source material, but Noah Baumbach succeeds in finding the humorous heart of its surprisingly timely story."[29] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[30]

Reviewing the film following its Venice Film Festival premiere, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film five out of five stars, writing, "Baumbach has landed a sizeable white whale in his tremendously elegant and assured adaptation."[31] The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney described it as "Equal parts clear signal and wearying static", praising the cast performances, humor, and score, but finding the screenplay inconsistent.[32] David Ehrlich of IndieWire called the adaptation "equal parts inspired and exasperating".[33]

Writing for Artforum, Will Sloan complains that the lead roles are played as if they are each in different films, calls the Danny Elfman score a "thick lather", and labels the film's conclusion smug: "there's no escape from banality, but at least we can smirk at it."[34]


Accolades for White Noise
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
Venice Film Festival[25] September 10, 2022 Golden Lion Noah Baumbach Nominated
Green Drop Award[35] Won
Mill Valley Film Festival October 15, 2022 MVFF Award For Screenwriting Noah Baumbach Won
Hollywood Music in Media Awards[36] November 16, 2022 Best Original Score in a Feature Film Danny Elfman Nominated
Best Original Song in a Feature Film James Murphy, Nancy Whang, Patrick Mahoney ("new body rhumba") Nominated
Phoenix Critics Circle December 15, 2022 Best Actor Adam Driver Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association[37] December 18, 2022 Best Adapted Screenplay Noah Baumbach Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association December 19, 2022 Best Adapted Screenplay Noah Baumbach Nominated
Best Musical Score Danny Elfman Nominated
Best Stunt/Movement Choreography David Neumann Nominated
North Carolina Film Critics Association January 3, 2023
Composer Tribute Award Danny Elfman Won
Best Original Song “new body rhumba” Nominated
Music City Film Critics Association January 9, 2023
Best Original Song “new body rhumba” Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[38] January 10, 2023 Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Adam Driver Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards[39] January 15, 2023 Best Song "new body rhumba" Nominated
North Dakota Film Society January 16, 2023 Best Original Song “new body rhumba” Nominated
Portland Critics Association January 16, 2023 Best Comedy Film Noah Baumbach, David Heyman, Uri Singer Nominated
Best Actor Adam Driver Nominated
Seattle Film Critics Society[40] January 17, 2023 Best Production Design Claire Kaufman and Jess Gonchor Nominated
Pandora International Film Critics January 20, 2023 Best Original Song “new body rhumba” Nominated
Online Film Critics Society[41] January 23, 2023 Best Adapted Screenplay Noah Baumbach Nominated
Chicago Indie Critics January 23, 2023 Best Original Song “new body rhumba” Nominated
Set Decorators Society of America Awards[42] February 14, 2023 Best Achievement in Decor/Design of a Period Feature Film Claire Kaufman and Jess Gonchor Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards[43] February 18, 2023 Excellence in Production Design for a Period Film Jess Gonchor Nominated
Artios Awards March 9, 2023 Best Casting - Comedy (Big Budget) Douglas Aibel, D. Lynn Meyers, Matthew Glasner Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (August 31, 2022). "White Noise Review: Noah Baumbach Turns Don DeLillo's 1985 Novel Into a Domestic Dystopian Period Piece Top-Heavy with Big Themes". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  2. ^ Hampton, Olivia. "Director Noah Baumbach tackles misinformation in 'White Noise,' wryly". NPR. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  3. ^ Burns, Sean (December 28, 2022). "'White Noise' is an anti-'80s movie". WBUR. Retrieved January 25, 2024.
  4. ^ "White Noise (2022) - Financial Information". Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  5. ^ "Noah Baumbach will adapt DeLillo's "White Noise"; Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig to star". Los Angeles Times. January 14, 2021. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  6. ^ Dana Harris; David Rooney (July 28, 2004). "Sonnenfeld poised for 'Noise'". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Newman, Nick (October 17, 2016). "Michael Almereyda to Adapt Don DeLillo's 'White Noise'". The Film Stage. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  8. ^ Newman, Nick (January 13, 2021). "Noah Baumbach Adapting Don DeLillo's White Noise; Adam Driver & Greta Gerwig to Star". The Film Stage. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  9. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 28, 2021). "Noah Baumbach Signs Exclusive Deal With Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Moore, Kasey (December 22, 2020). "Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig to Headline in Noah Baumbach's New Netflix Movie". What’s on Netflix. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  11. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 14, 2021). "Raffey Cassidy And Sam And May Nivola Join Noah Baumbach's Next Film 'White Noise'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  12. ^ Raup, Jordan (April 7, 2021). "Emily Mortimer and Alessandro Nivola's Children Cast in Noah Baumbach's White Noise". The Film Stage. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 2, 2021). "Jodie Turner-Smith In Talks To Join Adam Driver And Greta Gerwig In Noah Baumbach's 'White Noise' At Netflix".
  14. ^ What’s up next for Jodie Turner-Smith? A Noah Baumbach project with Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle called “White Noise”
  15. ^ Raup, Jordan (August 14, 2021). "André Benjamin Joins the Cast of Noah Baumbach's White Noise". The Film Stage. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  16. ^ Ferme, Antonio (June 28, 2021). "'Aquaman 2,' 'John Wick 4' and More Major Blockbusters Begin Filming, Signaling Production Revival". Variety. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  17. ^ a b Greier, Mary Ann (October 12, 2021). "Bypass to close for Netflix movie". Salem News. Archived from the original on October 12, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  18. ^ "Going Hollywood! First Photos Released From Netflix Movie Filmed on Campus | Kent State University". www.kent.edu. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  19. ^ Kocan, Liz (February 13, 2023). "Life Imitates Art: Train Derailment in Ohio Is in the Same Town Where 'White Noise' Train Crash Was Filmed | Decider". Decider. Retrieved April 30, 2023.
  20. ^ "Movie filming closes Hope Memorial Bridge". November 4, 2021.
  21. ^ Jones, Abby (November 18, 2022). "Danny Elfman unveils soundtrack for Noah Baumbach's White Noise: Stream". Consequence. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  22. ^ Massoto, Erick (November 18, 2022). "Listen to Danny Elfman's Complete 'White Noise' Soundtrack". Collider. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  23. ^ Davis, Clayton (August 26, 2022). "LCD Soundsystem's First New Song in Five Years Set for Netflix's 'White Noise' Soundtrack". Variety. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  24. ^ Hudson, Alex (September 30, 2022). "LCD Soundsystem Have a Dance-Punk Workout on "new body rhumba"". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  25. ^ a b "Biennale Cinema 2022 | White Noise". La Biennale di Venezia. July 25, 2022. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  26. ^ Gonzalez, Shivani (August 2, 2022). "'White Noise' to Open the New York Film Festival". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  27. ^ "Jonás Cuarón Will Direct Bad Bunny in Sony's 'El Muerto,' First Marvel Superhero Film with Latino Lead – Film News in Brief". October 4, 2022.
  28. ^ Ntim, Zac (August 31, 2022). "Noah Baumbach On Crafting His Venice Opener 'White Noise' And Creating A Community While Shooting In Ohio — Venice". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  29. ^ "White Noise (2022)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  30. ^ "White Noise". Metacritic. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  31. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (August 31, 2022). "White Noise review – Venice opener is a blackly comic blast". The Guardian. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  32. ^ Rooney, David (August 31, 2022). "'White Noise' Review: Adam Driver and Noah Baumbach Take a Bold Stab but Don DeLillo's Novel Still Seems Unfilmable". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  33. ^ Ehrlich, David (August 31, 2022). "'White Noise' Review: Noah Baumbach's Don DeLillo Adaptation Is Inspired — and Exasperating". IndieWire. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  34. ^ Sloan, Will (December 29, 2022). "Ecce Pomo: The depthless hyperreality of Noah Baumbach's White Noise". Artforum. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  35. ^ "COLLATERAL AWARDS OF THE 79TH VENICE FILM FESTIVAL". labiennale.org. September 10, 2022. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  36. ^ Grein, Paul (November 3, 2022). "Rihanna, Lady Gaga & More Nominated for 2022 Hollywood Music in Media Awards: Full List". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2022.
  37. ^ Neglia, Matt (December 11, 2022). "The 2022 St. Louis Film Critics Association (StLFCA) Nominations". NextBestPicture. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  38. ^ Lang, Brent; Moreau, Jordan (December 12, 2022). "Golden Globes 2023: Complete Nominations List". Variety. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  39. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (December 14, 2022). "Everything Everywhere All At Once Leads 2023 Critics Choice Awards Film Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 14, 2022. Retrieved December 14, 2022.
  40. ^ ""Everything Everywhere All At Once" Leads the 2022 Seattle Film Critics Society Nominations". Seattle Film Critics Society. January 9, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  41. ^ Neglia, Matt (January 23, 2023). "The 2022 Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) Winners". Next Best Picture. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  42. ^ "Set Decorators Society of America Announces 2022 Film Nominations". Below the Line. January 5, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2023.
  43. ^ Tangcay, Jazz (January 9, 2023). "'Elvis,' 'Babylon,' 'Avatar: The Way of Water' Lead Art Directors Guild 2023 Nominations". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2023.

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