In the Loop (2009)
My Rating: 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “Best political comedy ever. WOW to politicians in Britain!”
IN THE LOOP is a fast-paced, lancet-witted ensemble comedy from first-time film director Armando Iannucci, based on his satirical BBC sitcom, THE THICK OF IT. The film tracks the lies, misunderstandings, good and bad intel, and PR blunders that escalate into a full-blown (fictional) crisis in the Middle East over the course of a few days, in a few conversations and meetings, in a few corridors of British and American power.
Though played for laughs, the movie demonstrates how the most incidental factors (leaked papers, hastily spoken soundbites) and players (aides, interns, and low-level government officials) can influence the course of history. The pitch-perfect cast does a great job with Iannucci’s script, improvising just enough to maintain the pseudo-documentary feel of the TV show. Even when the action gets loose and rollicking, the tone is tightly controlled satire, and the humor emerges organically from the situations and relationships at hand.
Peter Capaldi, reprising his TV role, is hilarious as a foulmouthed, perpetually het-up Director of Communications for the British Prime Minister. Mimi Kennedy gives a droll but heartfelt performance as an antiwar U.S. diplomat and shares some touching and funny scenes with a more subdued than usual James Gandolfini as a U.S. general with surprising views on war. And Tom Hollander quietly steals the show as the hapless British Secretary of State for International Development whose careless remark in an interview sets off the events that catapult him into deeper waters than he has ever been in.