Newest Review: ... film Malcolm Tucker (an absolutely hilarious and inspried Peter Capaldi) rigging the vote at the UN, they can halt the war. On top of every... more
My husband works for Tower Hamlets and believe me those kids make you sound like... Angela Lansbury!
In The Loop (DVD)
Member Name: huggy2009
In The Loop (DVD)
Advantages: Wonderfully written, directed and acted
Disadvantages: Lots of swearing
In the Loop
This is to all intents and purposes a big screen outing for 'The Thick of It' the exceptional BBC series following events of a political outlook in Westminster.
Directed by Armando Ianucci and written by him too with help from Simon Blackwell and Jesse Armstrong one of the writers of Peep Show. This is a high brow comedy which has elements of farce but requires a high level of concentration and the ability to withstand an incredible level of thought provoking and inventive swearing.
The film is loosely based on reality, as we follow the American President and British Prime Minister who plan to start a war which isn't viewed as necessary by many and want to spin it to their own advantage.
There is a strong anti-war movement and this is aided by the hapless British Minister for International Development, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) who in a soundbite states that war isn't foreseeable, his comments are grasped by all sides differently, to the anti-war protesters he is a valuable campaigner and spearhead of their movement, to the governments of UK and America he is a Politician who they have to get onside to move forward with their plan, in essence he's out of his depth and just said what he thought to a journalist, at this point the British Government send in their best spin doctor, the formidable Malcom Tucker (Capaldi) to take control of this situation and get Foster onside.
The film then follows Foster as he travels to Washington to meet various spin doctors and military and follows the integral part he is presumed to play in any war. The film takes on an almost old fashioned quality at this point as confusion and misunderstanding create an atmosphere where nobody quite knows what is happening.
Will Foster stand tall and use his influence to stop the war or will the promise of power and responsibility push him to push forward an idea he is none too comfortable with?
Peter Capaldi ... Malcolm Tucker
Harry Hadden-Paton ... Civil Servant
Samantha Harrington ... Malcolm's Secretary
Gina McKee ... Judy Molloy
Tom Hollander ... Simon Foster
Olivia Poulet ... Suzy
Chris Addison ... Toby Wright
James Smith ... Michael Rodgers
Zach Woods ... Chad
Mimi Kennedy ... Karen Clark
Anna Chlumsky ... Liza Weld
Enzo Cilenti ... Bob Adriano
Lucinda Raikes ... Reporter
James Doherty ... Reporter
David Rasche ... Linton Barwick
I really liked this film on a number of levels as a comedy it is laugh out loud on so many occasions, it is typical Ianucci with wonderfully witty and incisive political commentary melded to strange wordplay which fans of 'The Day Today' and 'Alan Partridge' will recognise. I found the film really translated well to the big screen and the character of Foster is played well by Hollander who gets the right level of smug, self righteousness and confused prole as the hapless politican.
Peter Capaldi is excellent as the ferocious Malcolm Tucker and puts himself into his role with gusto. Being honest you shouldn't watch this with the kids unless you really want to add 5 or 6 new and slightly unwanted words to their vocabulary as the F word is used without fear and with wonderful abandon. The cast is strong all round with Chris Addison again playing a cocky minature Spin Doctor whose own life helps to balls things up further for his country and boss as he sleeps with an American Spin Doctor and passes on some British secrets in the process.
It was good to see Anna Chumsky from My Girl in it, as I had presumed Child Actors either went into rehab or got their own reality television shows!!
Overall this is a smart, incisive comedy which parallels the political landscape of a few years ago wonderfully, the writing is sharp and cutting, the acting is desperate and effective and the laughs are free flowing. Despite the language and the complicated political landscape in many ways this reminded me of the old Ealing Caper films as the plot unravels and the twists and turns fly in thick and fast.
Watch out for a diverting cameo from Steve Coogan as a gentleman who is upset with Foster because of the state of his mothers wall, he is a nice welcome break from the ensuing chaos and gives a real idea of the issues MP's really have to manage as well as the larger more current issues.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, it is something I can watch again and again and that doesn't happen often.
The DVD is £4.99 in Amazon or £2.13 through Marketplace, this is great value and this is a wonderful introduction to the characters and the writing and direction of Ianucci before plunging headfirst into the mad world of 'The Thick of It'.
Summary: My husband works for Tower Hamlets and believe me those kids make you sound like... Angela Lansbury!