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In the Loop

The fate of the world is on the line. 

Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Armando Iannucci 
Starring: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison  
An image from In the Loop

In a masterpiece of Anglo-American relations, an American general and a junior minister have to work together to stop a war that the President and the Prime Minister both think is a good idea. Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster (Hollander) has to try and negotiate between the bullish General Miller (Gandolfini) and the psychopathically infuriated Malcolm Tucker (Capaldi), the Prime Minister’s spin doctor, as he tries desperately to halt an illegal war.

Anyone who’s seen the award winning BBC series The Thick of It will recognise a few faces here – particularly Peter Capaldi as the perpetually furious Tucker, whose talent for on-the-spot insults is second to none. Capaldi doesn’t quite steal the show, however – Tom Hollander is on fine form as the minister out of his depth between the ebullient personalities of Tucker and the general. The dialogue will make you laugh, but what will really stick with you is what lies underneath the verbal sparring.

Iannucci is well known for his biting political satire, and In the Loop shows in intricate detail the prejudices and political manoeuvrings behind the decision to go to war. Obviously, shades of the Iraq war cannot be avoided, but Iannucci invites us to think more generally about the murky world of politics. Don’t misunderstand me – this movie is a hell of a lot of fun, but it’s also quite serious, in a way which will stay with you after you leave the cinema.

Marcus Kelly

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Autumn Term (35mm)
2009/2010 Autumn Term (35mm)