In the Loop

United Kingdom
English
Screening:

Sunday, March 21st & Sunday, March 28

Director: Armando Iannucci
Cast: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Mimi Kennedy, David Rasche
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Rating: R, Warning---coarse dialogue may offend
 
“In the Loop is a blisteringly funny skewering of the venal side of politics.”---Claudia Puig, USA Today

“The dangerous incompetence of these warring factions will strike you as more than familiar. That's why the laughs stick in the throat. But laugh you will, loud and often. In the Loop deserves to be a sleeper hit.”---Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“It’s one verbal skirmish after another, dominated by Peter Capaldi, whose character is smoothly offensive and determined, dropping F-bombs with natural ease.”—Jim Slotek, Jam! Movies

Academy Award Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay
 
British Independent Film Awards: Best Screenplay
 
New York Film Critics Circle Award: Best Screenplay
 
Chicago Film Critics Association Nomination: Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Peter Capaldi)
 
The pace is fast and the technique is raw in In the Loop. The dialogue comes in cascades of exuberant comic and rather blue language. Characters indulge in frantic and absurd monologues. The United States and Britain are rushing to war, in this pointed British satire, and everyone in government, on both sides of the Atlantic, is scrambling for position.
 
Taking its inspiration from the lead-up to the Iraq war, In the Loop shows how the prospect of military conflict plays out on the bureaucratic staff level.
 
Director Armando Iannucci, who wrote the film along with five other screenwriters, gets lots of comic mileage out of the differences between the British and the Americans. Underlying all the interaction is the understanding that the Americans are wealthy and entitled and that the Britons are junior partners trying to make good.
 
Setting off the fireworks is Simon (Tom Hollander), an assistant British secretary of state who gets into trouble when he says in a radio interview that war (with an unnamed Middle Eastern country) "is unforeseeable." 
Simon finds himself immediately flailing in the maelstrom of controversy, haplessly stuffing his foot in his mouth despite best intentions to defuse the matter. Because he is against the war, he gets caught in the crossfire between a State Department hawk (David Rasche) and an American undersecretary (Mimi Kennedy) and a pacifist American general, (James Gandolfini.) At the same time, Simon has to appease his own government's vitriolic, foul-mouthed communications director (Peter Capaldi), by seeming to be onboard with the prime minister's war plans.
 
In the Loop is uncompromising in its speed and audacity and, ultimately, in its point of view. Even the saner characters demonstrate little awareness of the horrific consequences of war. These addled functionaries are lost in the fog of government, incapable of seeing past their petty grievances and career concerns, as they contribute in tiny ways to the creation of a disaster. This is Yes, Minister with a severe blue streak.
 

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