In the Loop Reviews
Filmed in an almost documentary style (a typical Brit feel), this film has many a moment that reminded me of... dare I say it... Dr. Strangelove; both for it's style and it's political acumen.
There is a very intelligent script here, with tons of laugh out loud moments, but eventually, as perhaps an overlong Monty Python skit would do, it folds back on its own absurdity and backs itself into an inconvenient corner where the story finds itself at an impass and is unable to top what has gone on before. Still, the concept of both the hawks and doves leaking a document that both sides radically "rewrote" is hilarious; as is the fallout where all the doves on both sides of the Atlantic decide to resign in protest over the upcoming Iraq war. The irony of course is that the new politicos enter the arena and the dance begins all over again.
I found the cast to be remarkably well versed, from the spitting epiteph spewing Scott manager to a Nancy Pelosi clone on the other side of the pond. Also throw in a fine performance by Gandolfini as perhaps the only voice of reason - a general who is against the war, but then turns on his dove compatriats and DOESN'T quit - arguing that since a war is now inevitable he is needed to lead his troups - answering the call as any true soldier would.
When the British government's Minister for International Development makes a vaguely antiwar statement in a radio interview, the spin-doctor tasked with smoothing the path toward an Anglo-American invasion in the Middle East tries to get him to toe the party line. Meanwhile in leafy Northamptonshire, a garden wall needs urgent attention... What the hell is wrong with BAFTA? How was In the Loop, a British movie with balls, a British movie to be proud of, not nominated for Best Film? Outstanding British Film? Which it didn't even win!!! What kind of a pointless category is that? If a British film is so outstanding, which this one certainly is, it should be able to compete on equal terms with what the rest of the world has to offer. Presumably this is just a runner-up prize, dreamed up to keep a little silverware in this country after the real awards have gone to whichever Hollywood productions have been lobbying the hardest. Even more scandalous, how was Peter Capaldi not nominated for his astonishing performance as spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker? I can only surmise that BAFTA, torn between short-listing him for Best Leading Actor or Best Supporting Actor, decided the easiest solution would be to nominate him for neither.
DIRECTED BY: Armando Iannucci
The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster. But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington, DC. If Simon can get in with the right DC people, if his entourage of one can sleep with the right intern, and if they can both stop the Prime Minister's chief spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker rigging the vote at the UN, they can halt the war. If they don't... well, they can always fire their Director of Communications Judy, who they never liked anyway and who's back home dealing with voters with blocked drains and a man who's angry about a collapsing wall.
I thought this political movie is one of the funniest movie's I have seen in quite some time. It's got great British humor which I love. I have been watching a lot of British films lately and I like the lingo. I was really happy to see the 'My Girl' actress Anna Chlumsky in this film. Haven't seen her doing anything since those films. She was great. But the star's in this film for me was Peter Capoldi and James Gandolfini. The conversation they had, had me in tears with laughter. Great stuff. I pasted it below. If you don't like political movie's (which are most of us) then just see this for a laugh. It's really entertaining and the characters are great.
Malcolm Tucker: General Flintstone... Was it you? Did you leak PWIP-PIP?
Lt. Gen. George Miller: No, I didn't leak it. I'm not like some little gay mercenary running around doing other people's dirty work.
Malcolm Tucker: Hey, I'm doing my own dirty work. I'm doing my job.
Lt. Gen. George Miller: I think you're doing Linton's dirty work. You're his little English bitch and you don't even know it. Bet if I came to your hotel room tonight, I'd find you down on all fours, him hanging out the back of you.
Malcolm Tucker: Oh, that's nice. That's really tough talk coming from the Armchair General. Put your feet up on a pouffe and go back to sleep, why don't you.
Lt. Gen. George Miller: Look, Tucker, you might be some scary little poodlefucker over in England, but out here you're nothing. You know what you look like? A squeezed dick. You got a big blue vein running up your head all the way to the temple. See, that's where I'd put the bullet. Only I'd have to stand back 'cause you look like a squirter.
Malcolm Tucker: Have you ever even actually killed anybody? Really?
Lt. Gen. George Miller: Yeah.
Malcolm Tucker: Falling asleep on someone, that doesn't count!
Lt. Gen. George Miller: That's funny. What about you, pussy drip? Ever kill anyone?
Malcolm Tucker: Maiming's what I prefer. Psychologically.
Lt. Gen. George Miller: Yeah? Why don't you try to maim me? I'll hit you so hard in the face you'll be shitting teeth.
Malcolm Tucker: Go right ahead. I can see the headlines now. "Peace-Loving General Starts Brawl in U.N., Swiss Intervene". I don't know, I'm no expert on spin but that could hurt your career.
Lt. Gen. George Miller: Yeah?
Malcolm Tucker: Right. Do excuse me, I've got to get back to work.
Malcolm Tucker: Don't ever call me fucking English again.
In The Loop's attention to detail is really the driving force in the film. Every segment about the ucoming war is spoken about and brilliantly written. Written with classic British wit and great satire that keeps you in hysterics.
Like many great comedies too, the film becomes less comic and far more serious. We really get the idea by the end of the film of how war is decided and conflicts that arise between to such nations.
Peter Capaldi easily robbed of a best actor nomination at the BAFTAS this year and has to be one of the best comic characters I've ever seen in film. Had me laughing non-stop. Also worth mentioning another hilarious performance by Tom Hollander who has easily one of the funniest scenes in and the core of the plot of this film.
Seriously, is is utter genuis. I can't tell you how brilliant this film is. You just have to see it for yourself.