In the Loop

Last night we went to see 'In the Loop', a film by Armando Ianucci. This is essentially 'The Thick of It: the movie' - though it isn't really. Though the style and characters have a lot in common with 'The Thick of It' - the movie is an entity in its own right, characters who know each other in 'The Thick of It' meet for the first time in the film - and that's totally fine.

The essential thrust of the film is the UK and US government preparing for war on an unidentified country based on dodgy intelligence, and the characters finding their way, stumbling their way, stumbling their way, through the situation in which they find themselves.

The comedy is superb - especially the Malcolm Tucker character. We were in hysterics more than once when he came on screen - and it wasn't only us. Remember that this is a British cinema audience - we tend to watch films reasonably quietly (when Meryl Streep at the end of 'Mamma Mia' addressed the audience saying 'You want more?' - we all were sat there thinking 'she talking to us?')

My one disappointment was that I wanted the scene with James Gandolfini to have some more meat (that's me-a-t) to it - but only as I'd anticipated that scene - in context, it was totally fine - his character nails Tucker to the wall.

There is a lovely piece of happy coincidence with current affairs (parliamentary expenses) where the minister is in his hotel room, explaining why he is watching a shark documentary - they must have been thanking the powers that be when the Jacqui Smith Blue Movie story broke recently.

'In the Loop' is a superbly funny piece of cinema, which demands intelligence from the viewer and a reasonable knowledge of recent current affairs (e.g. issues surrounding the invasion of Iraq) as a reference - highly recommended.