In the Loop

Director: Armando Iannucci
Year Released: 2009
Rating: 3.0

Caustic, rapid-fire satire of U.S./U.K. relations (pre-Iraq Occupation): the madness commences when the British Minister for International Development (Tom Hollander) misspeaks about war in the Middle East being "unforeseeable," sending the fierce Director of Communications (an ingenious Peter Capaldi) into spin-control mode and eventually leading to a series of meetings and SNAFUs in Washington, D.C. The handheld camerawork and overall feel come straight from Gervais and Merchant's The Office but the dialogue is in a world of its own: it's an impressively steady stream of wit and profanity, with Capaldi's character given most of the coarse (and hilarious) material. The care in creating the verbiage, however, is all too apparent: it's an impressive assortment of one-liners and banter and a bit unreal, and the tone is smug and self-assured. I like it, but am glad I don't have to work with these people.