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THANK YOU FOR SMOKING

Director: JASON REITMAN

U.S.A. • 2006 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 92 MIN.


ADAPTED FROM CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY’S SAVAGE SATIRICAL NOVEL, THIS CONFIDENT DEBUT FEATURE FROM WRITER DIRECTOR JASON REITMAN CASTS THE HANDSOME AARON ECKHART ( IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, ERIN BROCKOVICH) AS NICK NAYLOR, A GIFTED AND AMORAL APOLOGIST FOR THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY.
Whether he is sparring with opportunistic Maryland senator Ortolan Finistirre (William H. Macey) on a TV talk show, or persuading shameless Hollywood uber-agent Jeff Megall (Rob Lowe) to insert smoking scenes into feature films, there is something admirably professional and undeniably likeable about Nick. Not even the innocent scrutiny and occasionally balloon-bursting honesty of Nick’s young son Joey (Cameron Bright) cuts through his blithe self-justification: we’ve all got to pay the mortgage. As far as Nick is concerned, he is merely a foot soldier in the war for the hearts and minds (and diseased lungs) of the free-thinking American people. So too are Polly Bailey (Maria Bello) and Bobby Jay Bliss (David Koechner), fellow members of the self-styled M.O.D. Squad (short for Merchants of Death). And it’s natural that they should each want to fight their corner when an argument breaks out about which of their respective products—tobacco, alcohol or firearms—kills the most people each year. Okay, so Nick offers hush-money to ex-‘Marlboro Man’ Lorne Lutch (Sam Elliott), whose lungs are now riddled with cancer. The cash will help with Lorne’s medical bills, won’t it? Although occasionally episodic and unfocused, this wickedly funny look at the world of ‘spin doctors’ offers a topical and suitably jaundiced view of a manipulative, self-serving industry.— Nigel Floyd.

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