The Informant!

Year: 2009
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Stephen Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z Burns
Cast: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Melanie Lynskey

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about Che Part One: The Argentine and Che Part Two: The Guerilla, and only a few weeks before that I was writing about The Girlfriend Experience. Either several Australian distributors have ended up with his films all at once or he's the hardest working man in show business.

As The Informant! confirms, he's also one of the best. Once more he's a chameleon, shifting tone and aesthetic to bring us the true story of corporate crook Mark Whitacre (Damon), a dumpy, nerdy man the likes of which you could never imagine matt Damon playing.

When his workplace approaches the FBI to sniff out a mole giving information to competitors Whitacre takes the agents aside to tell them about a bigger catch for the taking in the price fixing scandal his bosses are orchestrating. From there he spins a web of lies nobody can believe and you'll have trouble believing it too even though it really happened.

Both Damon and the script play Whitacre as either monumentally stupid or smarter than anyone ever gives him credit for. It certainly plays him as borderline bipolar, a nonsensical inner monologue accompanying almost everything he does until in the pivotal moment, even it comes crashing to a halt.

It's set in the early 90s and Soderbergh again gives it a totally different tone to any other film, giving it a folksy, Douglas Sirk soundtrack that hides the essential menace of corruption at the heart of the story. He plays up the comedy but as always he gets great performances out of great actors and he's yet to make a difficult film to watch.

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