Thursday, January 21, 2010

In The Loop (2009)

Funny, if a tad dry satire of modern politics, both in the U.S. and Britain. The premise involves an English minister of communications who accidentally lets some information about an impending war slip a little too early, causing PR problems on both sides of the pond. However, this is more All The Presidents' Men than Strangelove; many of the characters are journalists or PR reps, and the main issue is the public image, rather than the state of the nation(s). This allows for Peter Capaldi's PR wizard to be a savage, Ari Gold-esque character, viciously and profanely tearing apart all those that annoy him, even in the most minor sense. His is the most interesting character in the film, and one of the few that manages to transcend the intricate, politics-heavy plot. Other standouts are James Gandolfini, turning in a great, low-key supporting performance as a peace-advocating general, and Tom Hollander as the loose-lipped, but somewhat composed communications minister. It was also pleasant to see My Girl herself, Anna Chlumsky, doing some background work as a befuddled secretary; she has a very open and endearing face, and deserves some grown-up work to complement her childhood repertoire.

Recommended for fans of political or British humor. The success of this one hinges on your interest on the subject matter; this is not ideal for casual viewing.

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