Friday, August 21, 2009
Difficult, Difficult, Lemon Difficult
In The Loop is a new comedy from the UK that fictionalizes the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq from both the view of the British and the American government. Starring a mostly British cast and James Gandolfini, the script has more curse words than anything more clever that I can think of. The story follows Ministers and their handlers and staff as they try to talk down rumors of an US-led invasion in the Middle East, as they meet with their US counterparts, deal with trans-Atlantic miscommunications, leaks to the media and finally, scurry to get behind the invasion and lend support to the Americans. For a British film, it is remarkably restrained in taking shots at Americans as war mongering buffoons and spreads the criticism around. There are American generals intent on peace and Minister who misspeak every other word out of their mouth. Far from being a political indictment of the war, the movie does a great job of showing how hard people worked on both sides of the issue from fighting the invasion and supporting it. Great performance all around and a terrific script that effortlessly bounces from one nation to another, from Downing Street to the UN and from their professional and personal mishaps, if the movie is playing near you, you owe it to yourself to be in the loop. (Pun!)
Tom Hollander (best known to American audiences from the Pirates trilogy) as Minister Simon Foster is the heart of the movie as the bumbling, nervous Minister who inadvertently begins to fuel talks of an invasion and spends the rest of the film frantically trying to correct his statement by making more ridiculous, ill-advised statements on both sides of the pond. At his finest, he channels the essence of Steve Carell and gives a performance better than any episode of The Office.
PS - The title of this post alludes to one of the many clever pieces of dialogue when one characters contends that things will NOT be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.