At once charismatic and off-kilter, Steven Soderbergh’s latest feature now streaming on HBO MAX stars Meryl Streep as a Pulitzer-prize winning novelist who invites her two oldest friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges) on a luxury ship for a voyage to the UK where she’s slated to receive a prestigious award. Also on board is Gemma Chan, playing the novelist’s literary agent desperate to garner information about her client’s progress on a new manuscript. The film’s project is unclear, at times appearing as an awkward comedy of errors, at other times a half-snarky half-sincere meditation on the process and price of creativity. Still, the performances are compelling, the setting gorgeous, the cinematography crisp, making up for the story’s overall disorientation.