In The Loop

Year: 2009
Production Co: BBC Films
Director: Armando Iannucci
Writer: Armando Iannucci/Jesse Armstrong/Simon Blackwell
Cast: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Anna Chlumsky

I always enjoy movies where you feel like you get an authentic glimpse behind the curtain to see the real workings of an institution like government or business.

This was one of those films that also mixed in a huge measure of obtuse comedy thanks to a very tight script peppered with profanity and very funny lines as high ranking public servants of the UK and US thrash out the combined decision of whether or not to embark on a seemingly unpopular war.

We see it from everyone's perspective on both sides of the Atlantic, from the terminally angry Scottish minister whose only form of communication is obscene sarcasm to the new staffer assisting the trade minister bewildered at the firestorm his inane comments to the press have caused.

A high ranking general (Galdolfini) and his senatorial ally battle to find their way into a Republican congressman's secret committee to make the case for war, while the latter's hapless staffer (Chlumsky) tries to manipulate her way around The Hill to find out what's going on while everybody else chases their tales.

It's a little hard to follow what's going on at times (the mark of a very high quality script when it comes to portraying the government), but the premise leads to some riotous scenes like the decorated general sitting in a little girl's bedroom figuring out troop movements on a toy calculator.

Some of the characters' wit wears a little on the thin side of believable in their insults to each other (The White Stripes, Frodo, Ron Weasley) after a time, but this is one of the rare 'insider' films that will have you laughing at the execution as well at the intent.

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