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The Informant!

Based on a tattle-tale. 

Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
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 Steven Soderbergh 
Starring: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale  
An image from The Informant!

Based on a true story, The Informant! tells the tale of one of the most important whistle-blowing cases in history. Mark (Damon) is one of the top executives in a livestock food company when his bipolar nature leads him to accidentally confess large-scale price fixing to agent Shepard (Bakula) of the FBI.

The consequences that ensue cover all aspects of the case, with Mark’s life becoming akin to that of a secret agent on an intelligence-gathering mission. However, this new covert lifestyle fails to slot in perfectly with that which came before, and when combined with his mental illness, lead the executive down a winding path of lies and falsehoods that he desperately struggles to fib his way out of.

Damon is wonderful in his portrayal of the bipolar executive, with a performance that evokes memories of Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind. The power of the film is ensured by the supporting cast and the occasional dash of comedy, which, when mixed with the strength of the storyline, combine to give an intriguing and brilliant thriller.

There aren’t many political true-to-life scenarios out there that can really deliver a satisfying film. Most of the biggest stories are too well known to provide decent big-screen fodder, whilst lesser known issues don’t have enough oomph. What Soderbergh has done is to find an absolute gem of a true story that lends itself perfectly to the big screen and applying his skills to produce the perfect cinematic outcome.

Robert Gardner

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Screenings of this film:

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