IT’S been a testing time at Miscellany HQ recently with work and other issues meaning there's been no writing but we are back in the journalistic saddle today with a glorious two films/ two cinemas/ eight cups of coffee day.
First up was the second viewing of Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop which is a veritable feast of spot on satire and inventive verbal filth. There’s lots of lubricated horse cocks in purviews, policies being fisted to death and the best abuse of a fax machine by the angriest man in Scotland in any film of the year.
In terms of tight plotting and sub plotting there’s not a great deal of depth, it is an extended version of the TV show that spawned it The Thick of It, but in characterisation it is superb.
Peter Capaldi as the astoundingly foul mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker really comes into his boggle-eyed own, bullying Government ministers, ambassadors and journalists in an almost show stealing turn. Chris Addison and the ever wonderful Gina McKee as Government information officers Toby and Judy also qualify for honourable mention.
US improv veteran Zach Woods as the incredibly ambitious and obnoxious Washington state department junior staffer Chad is another revelation, his portrayal of an arse licking, backbiting Ivy League ingrate is spot-on.
Paul Higgins as Jamie, the aforemention angriest Scot, may just reprise his show stealing iPod hating spin meister, but he's still brilliant at it.
However, Tom Hollander as the hapless, ambitious career (New Labour) politician Simon Foster, is the real star of the movie. A vacillating eejit over promoted to Secretary of International Development who helps start a war by spouting metaphoric platitudes on Eddie Mair’s PM programme on Radio 4 is so realistic that it shows that as a satirist Iannucci remain’s the market leader in Britain.
Unable to deal with either his constituents or world leaders, he is an idiot who doesn’t recognise how his ambition to schmooze at the highest levels of the power structures is slowly killing his career.
But then, with Iannucci, his long term collaborator Tony Roche and Peep Show creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, this film was always going to be a wonderful, tightly scripted pitch perfect denunciation of the political classes.
The elected politicians are ineffective idiots bullied by unelected spin doctors and in the current climate of Smear-gate followed by Expenses-Gate, surely no film can have come out at a better time. Man oh man, but its prescience would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.
GM has seen this film twice in a week and there may be another visit in the not so distant future.