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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the Loop

(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Lower-level government officials in England and the U.S. decide war would be a good idea and then go about trying to make it happen. (Not against each other, of course.)

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Anna Chlumsky, Enzo Cilenti, Paul Higgins, Mimi Kennedy, David Rasche, Steve Coogan

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. This British comedy (with a few American actors thrown in for good measure) worms its way into the back-channels of government to display the idiocy, ego and hidden agenda of government bureaucracy. Smart, funny, satirical and scathing, it’s sort of a West Wing for cynics who like their comedy dark and British. To sum it up, if you loved Catch 22 and Dr. Strangelove, you’ll probably enjoy this film as well.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: The lines come smart, witty and even raunchy from every single character – so this would be a big ‘ol yes. But pay attention to keep up.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Only if you’re already predisposed to the insanity and horrors of government bureaucracy. In that case this movie might send you over the edge into a puddle of tears.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Probably not in America, but only because it’s too British. Which of course means it’ll be showered with BAFTAs.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The film is perfectly cast, from Hollander’s dippy British Secretary of State, Peter Capaldi’s expletive-spewing Communications Director, Mimi Kennedy’s U.S. Deputy Sec. of State to Gandolfini’s egotistical U.S. General. Combined with the way this film is shot and the ad-lib style of dialogue, you will pretty much forget these are actors and think you are watching a documentary that has spun hopelessly out of control.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The genius of In the Loop is that director Amando Ianucci has shot it as if it were a documentary, and it completely feels like that on one level. But the comedy and situations are so absurd, that you can’t help but realize it’s a piece of fiction. Or is it? Every single performance, set, action and snippet of dialogue feels authentic which lends the entire enterprise a feeling of real-world doom that might have been a lot funnier if it were not for the reality of the war in Iraq. Where a show like The West Wing reveled in showing us the people at the very top levels of government, In the Loop takes us one level down where all the real decisions are made. And it’s about a trillion times scarier for that reason alone.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: According to the director at a Q&A after the film, the committee of writers (there were five total credited) did a ton of research hanging out in both the British and U.S. governments to get every detail as authentic as could be. They did a great job because even in its heightened state of dark comedy, In the Loop feels scarily authentic in pulling back the curtain on the people who make decisions that affect millions of lives. Be prepared for a dose of harsh reality – even if you’re laughing all the way through.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: Directly below is a link to view the trailer for In the Loop. Regardless if you ever see the movie, do yourself a favor and watch the trailer, because it’s a marvel of editing and probably the best trailer of the year so far.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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