Movies & Television

Netflix's White Noise Movie Meaning Explained

While we wait for A Quiet Place 3, it’s time to turn our attention to a different family with a lighter tone during the apocalypse and we explain the meaning behind Netflix’s White Noise movie.

The film held its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in August 2022 and was then released in limited cinemas over November. White Noise then settled on Netflix when it debuted on December 30.

Directed by Noah Baumbach and adapting the 1985 novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, White Noise is Baumbach’s first movie not following his own, original work, and follows a professor and his family during the 80s when toxic contamination breaks out and they have to evacuate.

White Noise Movie Meaning – What Does the Title Refer To?

As we know, white noise is a sort of static sound akin to an old television that has no signal, or used to communicate with spirits in horror movies. In current society, however, white noise has also been used to help people get to sleep or focus on tasks.

This is where the Netflix movie gets its name from because the title symbolizes the constant distractions in place to comfort or even blinker us from home truths.

In White Noise’s case, the Gladney couple is terrified of dying, therefore, their white noise acted as a barrier against this morality. The film demonstrates the constant white noise around us to stop us from thinking about the scary facts of life and proposes what would happen if that noise suddenly stopped.

White Noise – Cr: Wilson Webb/NETFLIX © 2022

Meet the White Noise Cast

Movie buffs will immediately recognize Star Wars and Marriage Story actor, Adam Driver, who famously portrayed Kylo Ren in the galaxy far, far away.

Driver is joined by director and actor, Greta Gerwig, who helmed Lady Bird and the Little Women remake. Gerwig is also married to White Noise’s director Baumbach.

Below, we have included White Noise’s full cast list:

  • Adam Driver – Prof. Jack Gladney
  • Greta Gerwig – Babette Gladney
  • Don Cheadle – Prof. Murray Siskind
  • Raffey Cassidy – Denise Gladney
  • Sam Nivolav – Heinrich Gladney
  • May Nivola – Steffie Gladney
  • Jodie Turner-Smith – Winnie Richards
  • André Benjamin – Elliot Lasher
  • Sam Gold – Alfonse
  • Carlos Jacott – Grappa
  • Lars Eidinger – Mr. Gray
  • Bill Camp – Man with TV
  • Barbara Sukowa – Sister Hermann Marie
  • Francis Jue – Dr. Lu
  • Henry and Dean Moore – Wilder Gladney
  • Gideon Glick and Chloe Fineman – Simuvac Technicians
  • Kenneth Lonergan – Dr. Hookstratten

White Noise Reviews

Despite the source material being considered difficult to adapt for live-action, average to positive reviews have surfaced for White Noise since its theatre release back in November.

Some have commented on the movie’s struggle to handle the source material at points but generally came through strong on the sentiment. 

Moviegoers have also shared their elation for the project’s end-credits scene, which will have everyone on their feet.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

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Jo Craig

Jo Craig is a staff writer at GRV Media reporting pop culture content on Forever Geek and brainstorming with the HITC Entertainment team. After nearly a decade in the game, Jo finds dissecting Marvel trailers for hours standard practice and still finds time to review, analyse, and research film, anime, video games and everything on the nerdy spectrum. Maintaining a strong social media presence, Jo’s passion for contributing to the geek culture community is a staple in their work and the spark behind vibrant discussions with comrades, even though some disagree that The Lord of the Rings is the best franchise.

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