Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Empire Blogs
Under The Radar

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Sundance Part Six: In The Loop

Posted on Tuesday January 20, 2009, 15:41 by Damon Wise in Under The Radar
Sundance Part Six: In The Loop

I'll declare a shocking secret here and admit that I've never seen his TV series The Thick Of It, but Armando Iannucci's hilarious film debut immediately makes me want to. It's not terribly cinematic but the writing and the acting are both superb, which is more important to me. After seeing it, I had the bad luck to see Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, a choppy story of a woman's disillusionment with men that tried so hard to be visual and different it absolutely bored the hell out of me, since no clear narrative was ever established. In The Loop (pictured), though, is just perfectly constructed and astonishingly sustained. If you like your comedy puerile and stupid but very, very clever, you're in for a treat.

The film it most reminded me of is the Ealing comedy The Man In The White Suit, in that it's about man who's under fire from every quarter. Tom Hollander, an actor I've never really been bothered about before, is just great as Simon Foster, the UK's Cabinet Minister For International Development. Foster is a well-meaning but self-important gimp, and during an otherwise innocuous radio interview he is put on the spot and asked if he thinks that a recently discussed war in the Middle East is close to becoming a reality. Foster says the war is “unforeseeable”, which outrages the PM's brilliant but sadistic spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), who wants him to remain neutral on the issue. To make things right, Foster gives an interview in the street, telling a camera crew that he's not necessarily against the war and that sometimes a country has to “climb the mountain of conflict”. Foster thinks that's the end of the matter, but it's not. During a fact-finding mission to Washington, both of these comments come to the attention of government peacenik Karen Clarke (Mimi Kennedy) and military hawk Linton Barwick (David Rasche), both intent on using Foster as a pawn in their attempts to stop and start the war respectively.

In the middle of this mess, Foster bobs hopelessly, aided by his bumbling assistant Toby (Chris Addison) and pursued relentlessly by Tucker. But although the satirical elements are especially strong, particularly an apparently pointless subplot about a garden wall that unexpectedly brings the film to its climax, it's the interaction of characters that makes this such a fabulous comedy. We'll be quoting lines from this modern class for years, whether it's “Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult” or the more punchy “Fuckity bye”. It's the Spinal Tap of New Labour, and as such I must insist you see it.

Login or register to comment.

Comments

1 punchdrunk
Posted on Tuesday January 20, 2009, 22:57
I was a little worried when the Wise excitement meter was low for "In the Loop" The show was consistantly great Malcom was a great angry comic figure and Amando Iaanuchi (spelt wrong i'm sure) is a great writer whatever he turns his hand to...But 'Very very very Funny' has me relieved. Tell Us more Damo!

2 Acho
Posted on Wednesday January 21, 2009, 11:24
I hear that In The Loop is going to be shown at the festival I'm working at - fingers crossed that's true now! Although I probably won't get to see it myself.

So, does three 'very's equal three 'ooh's?

3 bojangles1971
Posted on Wednesday January 21, 2009, 18:15
Who are you?

4 punchdrunk
Posted on Wednesday January 21, 2009, 20:20
I was close with the spelling. BTW Damo if you like creative spelling the tv show (not sure about the film) had a swearing expert they would send the scripts to. Also it was scripted then improvised and then Malcom comes in a bollocks everyone for being useless, It's one of the rare times i've felt sorry for a politician, somehow it justified their sleaze and you almost want them to get away with it, but not without getting a good verbal kicking from Malcom :p

Go and see it Acho!!!!

5 punchdrunk
Posted on Wednesday January 21, 2009, 20:24
* I meant to write, Creative Swearing not "Creative Spelling" :s

6 Acho
Posted on Wednesday January 21, 2009, 23:13
You're the boss Punchy!

I'm festival staff though, so don't get to see the films. Gah!

I like the sound of both Creative Swearing and Creative Spelling though. Would've added a little something something to school time.

7 nutteronabus
Posted on Thursday January 22, 2009, 12:26
Wooh! I've been waiting for this for ages, and to see it getting all this good press is bloody fantastic.

April can't come soon enough.

8 Blythy
Posted on Thursday January 22, 2009, 13:45
hold on, what's chris addisson doing as "Toby"?

I thought he was ollie.... or is this his "twin"?

9 richCie
Posted on Thursday January 22, 2009, 21:58
wow watch out Damo, 8 and now 9 posts, you're in danger of becoming popular!

i've only actually seen the special (was it the last episode or christmas special or sumin...i dont know) of The Thick Of It, but it was very funny, so im confident In The Loop will be up to par.

10 punchdrunk
Posted on Thursday January 22, 2009, 22:31
The "tell us more" bit at the end of my first post was due to the fact there ere only three lines on the page, Damo no doubt enjoying an Obama swearing in party, rather than posting writing about a film containing great swearing. which would be as good a reason as any.

11 GrantSalvona
Posted on Saturday February 14, 2009, 11:22
I saw this at the GFT the other night and it was excellent.

You could watch and enjoy this without seeing the TV series at all.

I'm still wondering why they changed the name Ollie to Toby when the character is essentially the same.

My girlfriend speculated that the name 'Ollie' is America would be tainted by memories of Oliver North.

12 aassdd
Posted on Sunday September 12, 2010, 12:34
Hello, everybody, the good shoping place, the new season approaching, click in. Let¡¯s
Facelift bar!
= = = = = www.surprisefirms.com= = = = =
Air Jordan (1-24) shoes $35
UGG BOOT $50
Nike shox (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $35
Handbags ( Coach Lv fendi D&G) $36
T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste) $16
Jean (True Religion, ed hardy, coogi)$30
Sunglasses ( Oakey, coach, Gucci, Armaini)$16
New era cap $16
Bikini (Ed hardy, polo) $18
NBA jerseys $29
FREE SHIPPING
= = = www.surprisefirms.com= = =

Log in below, or register to post comments
Username:
Password:
Remember Me:

CATEGORIES

Empire States (439)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (35)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


RECENT POSTS

Final report: The Kid With A Bike, Le Havre, Michael, Walk Away Renee, The Murder, Oslo 31 August
By Damon Wise

This Must Be The Place
By Damon Wise

The Artist
By Damon Wise

Drive
By Damon Wise

Cannes Videblogisode #9
By Amar Vijay

Cannes Videblogisode #8
By Amar Vijay

Cannes Videblogisode #7
By Amar Vijay

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 6
By Amar Vijay

Cannes Videblogisode #6
By Amar Vijay

The Skin I Live In
By Damon Wise


RECENT COMMENTS

Drive
"So it's more of an 80s homage? Judging by the title, as well as the theme, I thought this would be a"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #6
"Good 'un!"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #8
"I live my life like I'm in a Carry On film, Megan."  Chris Hewitt
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #8
"My bra just fell off LOL amazing Carry On film vibe there. Have to say though, Chris is scarier when"  megank13
Read comment

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 6
"★good★ look love--- w w w - jordansforking - c o m   qeedsss
Read comment

Melancholia
"More on this will follow in the magazine later; I met Lars after the banning and heard his views on "  Damon_Wise
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #6
"Heh hee hee hee. So, Chris, twitter profile pic now, right?"  Ethanial
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #4
"Is that the young Mike Cimino playing "Neil LaBute?"  Manfrendshensindshen
Read comment

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 4
"Fair point usually but in that dress I think we should make an exception for Cheryl"  ErnestWilde
Read comment

Cannes Videblogisode #4
"Aha. Sam informs me that he had to cross the line as his original shooting angle would have ended up"  Chris Hewitt
Read comment


POPULAR POSTS

Cannes 2011: Tree Of Life: First Reaction
13 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #2
8 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #5
7 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #4
5 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #6
3 comments

Cannes In Pictures: Volume 4
3 comments

Cannes 2011: The Tree Of Life
2 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #1
2 comments

Melancholia
2 comments

Cannes Videblogisode #8
2 comments


BLOGGERS
Damon Wise (297)
Helen O'Hara (167)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (19)
Owen Williams (15)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
Ian Nathan (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
David Parkinson (1)

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)