In The Loop

I didn’t expect very much from Armando Iannucci‘s In The Loop, a Sundance ’09 movie that I caught here last week. The notes made this low-budget British political comedy sound too ambitious and convoluted and cross-burdened. Except it’s not. It’s easily one of the funniest comedies about governmental inanity and media mis-speak I’ve ever seen. It also felt to me like one of the fastest laughers of this type since Billy Wilder‘s One, Two,Three.


In The Loop director-writer Armando Iannucci

And it has some absolutely wonderful insult humor. I’m talking one beautiful saber thrust and club-bludgeon after another.

Suffice that my pre-viewing concerns evaporated almost immediately. The reason I didn’t expect a lot going in is that I didn’t know Iannucci — he’s a successful British-based comedian, writer, director, performer and radio producer — or anything about his shows. I didn’t know squat, for instance, about The Thick of It, a 2005 political satire for BBC Four that Iannucci devised, directed and largely wrote. Some of the British government characters in In The Loop originally appeared in The Thick Of It.

In The Loop is basically about how the media can sometimes focus on a gaffe by an official or spokesperson and make it sound (via sheer repetition and obsession) to represent firm government policy concerning this or that major issue. In The Loop‘s major issue is a potential military conflict involving U.S. and British troops — think Iraq in ’02 — but the humor is about how various second- and third-tier government types in London and Washington try to dodge, maneuver and counter-spin their way around an essentially meaningless statement by a British cabinet minister that war is “unforeseeable.” Meaningless and yet strangely meaningful once the media gets hold of it. And the source of endless misery for many people.


Some of the In The Loop-ers.

“Wickedly sardonic and filled with secrets, lies, leaks, plugs, and faulty intelligence and walls, In the Loop leads us behind closed doors to reveal bungling bureaucrats entangled in petty rivalries, obsequious aides jockeying for favor, and the Keystone Cops of government,” say the Sundance notes.

Every cast member — Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander, David Rashe, Gina McKee, Chris Addison, Anna Chulmsky and Mimi Kennedy topline — is clearly on the same Iannucci wavelength. They know they’re working with great material, and so do we. What is unmistakable is that they’re all having enormous fun with the material, although in a very assured and ultra-disciplined way.

I was so taken with In The Loop that I asked to speak to Iannucci. He called from London last Friday or something. (Thursday?) Our discussion speaks for itself. I’m hoping to meet with him in Park City, along with Gandolfini and Kennedy.

49 thoughts on “In The Loop

  1. Armando Iannuci is a jeeeniyus, can’t listen now but I’m looking forward to it later!

    This also reminds me of my campaign to pray five rosaries every night in the hopes that you will realize the error of your ways and go back on that blanket condemnation of Steve Coogan from a while back

  2. One , Two, Three is very glib, broad, hammy and dated, but when it’s cooking and in-gear it’s great. Hell, wonderful at times. A classic farce, certainly, during the last half. And it features a close-to-breathtaking James Cagney performance — his funniest, his most energized, his most rat-a-tat-tat.

  3. What a rockin’ cast of cult actors. I haven’t heard from Mimi Kennedy since her funny, failed sitcom with Peter Cook in the ’80s. Gina McKee was memorable in Croupier and especially Naked (“Want some beans?”). And Peter Capaldi played a mean set of bagpipes in Lair of the White Worm, one of Ken Russell’s better campfests. Thanks for the heads-up.

  4. I concur with what Worrywort says & try and get Time Trumpet as well – another series Iannucci did. He was also behind a couple of series of I’m Alan Partridge (with Steve Coogan) & collaborations with Chris Morris who is another arch UK satirist.

    As for the creativity of the insults, there’s a good reason for that. On The Thick of It, Iannucci employed a ‘Swearing Consultant’ – I kid you not, if you check the end titles, you’ll see it there! What a great job that would be . .

  5. A British movie that isn’t about gangsters or theater people (or non-theater people putting on a show)? What gives?

  6. Good info thanks for sharing with us.

    Peace, Love, Unity and Respect.Lets Be a friendship on the net with around the world via internet.Lets be talk about lifestyle like Astaga.com lifestyle on the net.Kalau sempat berkunjunglah di laen waktu ke festival museum nusantara untuk sekedar melihat barang langka yang ada di museum.Luangkan juga waktu sejenak kalau tidak keberatan untuk berkunjung ke Astaga.com lifestyle on the net.

    Best Regards,

    ========================================================

    Aku cuma seorang Blogger yang cinta seo Astaga.com lifestyle on the net | Festival Museum Nusantara on Tutorial Digital

  7. Good info thanks for sharing with us.

    Peace, Love, Unity and Respect.Lets Be a friendship on the net with around the world via internet.Lets be talk about lifestyle like Astaga.com lifestyle on the net.Kalau sempat berkunjunglah di laen waktu ke festival museum nusantara untuk sekedar melihat barang langka yang ada di museum.Luangkan juga waktu sejenak kalau tidak keberatan untuk berkunjung ke Astaga.com lifestyle on the net.

    Best Regards,

    ========================================================
    Aku cuma seorang Blogger yang cinta seo Astaga.com lifestyle on the net | Festival Museum Nusantara on Tutorial Digital

  8. MTS Converter is an excellent mts conversion software that can convert mts files to other video and audio formats. In addition, The MTS Converter can convert mts, ts, trp hd video files perfectly and quickly.

  9. This is easier Astaga.com Lifestyle On The Net and surely gives comfort to internet users. Thanks for sharing Astaga.com Lifestyle On The Net. Post like this offers great Astaga.com Lifestyle On The Net benefit. Thank you!

    Astaga.com Lifestyle On The NetSEO CONTEST

    Astaga.com lifestyle on the net

    SEO CONTESTIndonesia Java International Destination|Festival Museum Nusantara|Tutorial digital

    Template astaga.com lifestyle on the net

  10. This is easier Astaga.com Lifestyle On The Net and surely gives comfort to internet users. Thanks for sharing Astaga.com Lifestyle On The Net. Post like this offers great Astaga.com Lifestyle On The Net benefit. Thank you!
    Astaga.com Lifestyle On The NetSEO CONTEST
    Astaga.com lifestyle on the net
    SEO CONTESTIndonesia Java International Destination|Festival Museum Nusantara|Tutorial digital
    Template astaga.com lifestyle on the net

  11. DVD to iPhone Mac is the best DVD to iPhone Mac program because it borns with powerful video/audio editing functions. You can do the video trimming, video croping, select subtitle and audio track, even merge several titles or chapters into one file, etc.

    Have you ever wondered how to download DVD movies to iTouch? Well, now you can use DVD to iTouch Converter to solve that problem easily and quickly.

  12. With the MTS Converter, you can convert mts to AVI, convert mts to MPG, convert mts to iPod, convert mts to WAV, etc. The MTS Converter software supports a series of output formats like, WMV, AVI, ASF, MPEG, MP4, MOV, 3GP, VOB, FLV, WMA, MP3, AAC, WAV, etc. It can aslo supprt convert m2ts files to iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, Zune, PSP, PS3, Creative Zen, Archos, MP3, and other Video and audio players. Free download the mts converter and have a try.

    MTS Converter|MTS Converter|MTS Converter

  13. This also reminds me of my campaign to pray five rosaries every night in the hopes that you will realize the error of your ways and go back on that blanket condemnation of Steve Coogan from a while back

    Designer Handbags

  14. I didn’t mean by my comments to suggest that this movie is going to flop. Far from it. I think it will make a ton of money. Maybe not as much as Fox would like, but isn’t that always the case?Cash Advance

  15. Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here. personal identity theft

  16. The European gala premiere screening was held in the independent Glasgow Film Theatre as the opening of the 2009 Glasgow Film Festival on the 12th of February 2009, attended by Iannucci and members of the cast.

    Costa del Sol property

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>