|In the Loop (UK; 106
directed by: Armando Iannucci
starring: Peter Capaldi; Tom Hollander; Gina McKee; James Gandolfini; Chris Addison; Anna Chlumsky; Steve Coogan
Jason says: "The film opens with the Prime Minister's Director of Communications, Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), flipping his lid because a government minister said that a situation in the Middle East escalating to war was 'unforeseeable,' a dangerously absolute phrase at the best of times and likely soon to be off-message. He calls this Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) on the carpet and tries to squelch it, but Foster just proceeds to make things worse every time he opens his mouth, especially in a meeting with American Undersecretary Karen Clarke (Mimi Kennedy). A paper written by her assistant, Liza Weld (Anna Chlumsky), which states that the benefits of war are far outstripped by the risks and costs, has started to circulate within the US State Department, much to the chagrin of Clarke's boss, Linton Barwick (David Rasche). Tucker tasks Foster and his new assistant Toby Wright (Chris Addison) with damage control, but these things are tricky.
"Seen 24 April 2009 at the Somerville Theater #1 (Independent Film Festival of Boston)"
|Thom says: "This spot-on political satire is hysterically funny, & I’m not a fan of the genre, mainly because modern politics are so ludicrous that satire can be overkill. But this is brilliant. It goes back & forth between London & D.C. as various government toadies discuss the possibility of going to war, (Iraq? Afghanistan?) apparently because the Prime Minister & President want it to be a done deal. The language is outrageously scatological and vicious and there isn’t a soul that comes out looking good. They treat war as a commodity rather than a situation where innocent people are killed. Every meeting, altercation political catastrophe is framed with joke after joke whether they are understated allusions to the disparagement and crookedness in the current political atmosphere or incompetence of everybody surrounding the power. The fact that most of the actors (all terrific) are unknown to me helps greatly in appreciating the hilarious goings-on. Everyone should see this gem. I read where this is a spin-off of an UK television nugget called 'The Thick of It.' 5 cats"|
|Diane says: "After luxuriating in STILL WALKING, I'm out of breath from the crazed pace and nonstop barbs of IN THE LOOP. I've also just come off seeing Tom Hollander as the priggish minister in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and the modeler of bright briefs in BEDROOMS AND HALLWAYS (an old favorite)--here he's a delightful combo of both. Nom for ensemble, definitely, and for screenplay. The dialogue is blistering. IN THE LOOP is so good at turning sense into nonsense that I no longer know what "unforeseeable" means. Note to those who might watch the screener: the watermark obscures important captions. 4 cats."|