fbpx

IN THE LOOP

Director: ARMANDO IANNUCCI

U.K. • 2009 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 35MM • 106 MIN


PETER CAPALDI’S HILARIOUS PORTRAYAL OF A RAZOR-TONGUED BRITISH PRIME MINISTERIAL SPIN DOCTOR HEADLINES THIS SHARP LOOK AT TRANS-ATLANTIC POWER POLITICKING FROM THE MAKERS OF THE ACCLAIMED BBC COMEDY SERIES THE THICK OF IT.

While Capaldi’s Malcolm Tucker, whose turn of phrase is ‘colourful’ and then some, pretty much steals every scene, director Armando Iannucci’s team of screenwriters comes up with a regular rogues’ gallery of the scheming, the ambitious, and the plain out of their depth, targeting with unerring satiric accuracy the comedy of incompetence behind significant policy shifts. Tom Hollander is painfully spot-on as Westminster’s bumbling Minister for International Development, whose off-message slip during a radio interview about a potential American strike in the Middle East not only incurs Capaldi’s ferocious wrath, but has a knock-on effect in Washington. There the supposedly secret ‘war committee’ takes it as evidence of international backing – much to the dismay of an idealistic State Department official (Mimi Kennedy) and a surprisingly conciliatory five-star general (James Gandolfini, in fine form).

Unfolding in a series of believably anonymous offices, this pokes merciless fun at the whole food chain of desperate-to-succeed interns, barely capable politicos and the PR mandarins trying to keep them all in line. However much we laugh at the relentless arm-twisting of facts and language, the film’s sobering truth is that most of those trusted to enact history-making decisions wouldn’t know a principle if they had one removed from a bodily cavity. Very funny and somehow very worrying at the same time – which is what satire is for, after all. — Trevor Johnston.

Book Tickets

}