92. In the Loop (2009)

Being told to fuck off on the first day of the job makes for interesting in-office relations

Definitely in for this political meeting

Directed by: Armando Iannucci
Written by: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell
Starring: Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi and James Gandolfini

Political films are usually seen by audiences stuck between two extremes – those who groan (because they get bored easily/don’t understand what’s going on) and those who take the content too seriously (majored in government studies or read the paper all the time and actually enjoy having political arguments over the dinner table). Both sides are understandable, but when a political satire with sharp, witty and foul-mouthed dialogue comes along, we find ourselves sitting in very comfortable and enjoyable middle ground.

In the Loop offers this balance. Revolving around early talks between British and U.S. departments of state in relation to the invasion of Iraq, In the Loop brings in caricature characters, British awkwardness and laugh-out-loud absurdities to highlight the failings and incompetencies of ministers, media personnel and even young Washington interns.

With a script that is brilliantly endless in its offensive and stutteringly awkward speech,, In the Loop blends mocumentary with what we might expect from the generic American comedy in a truly entertaining and clever approach to politics and the odd characters we might find in charge of such larger-than-life issues. Regardless of whether you know much about the political material at all, In the Loop offers situations, dialogue and characters that are relatable to anyone who has had to deal with egos, and awkward moments. Take these experiences and locate them in the U.S. Department of State office and you’ve got yourself a comedy that is fresh, interesting and exciting to follow.

While the original snappy pace and funny interactions with the characters takes a bit of a slump in the final act of the film, In the Loop always keeps a light-hearted, yet engaging method of storytelling that is fun and enjoyable.


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