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In the Loop | From Blighty With Love

In the Loop

In the Loop

2009 (UK) 106 min Comedy

Armando Iannucci
  1. Gina McKee
  2. Peter Capaldi
  3. Tom Hollander

  4. Sales Agent
    Protagonist Pictures

    1. intheloopmovie.co.uk
    2. IMDB Entry
    3. Trailer

    Have you seen it and what did you think? Please leave a comment


An award-winning biting satire set in the world of contemporary politics in Washington DC, written and directed by Scottish comic genius Armando Iannucci, and based loosely on his popular BBCTV comedy series The Thick of It. Starring Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Soloist) as the hapless Simon Foster, the British Secretary of State for International Development who somehow manages to blunder his way into the centre of a major US/UK Government war mongering controversy. Peter Capaldi (Local Hero, Torchwood) plays the brilliant foulmouthed PR spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker who is determined to get his own way at any price even if it means fixing the vote of the UN to get it!
In The Loop_Peter Capaldi


In The Loop. The pinnacle of political satire

In The Loop’s particular brand of political comedy is unique in it’s brash, withering irreverence of western government and civil service. It’s endearing, ludicrous humour offers an enjoyable ride to those who are content to simply sit back and laugh at the machinations of half-witted politicians and over-zealous press officers. It is a type of humour that forms the mainstay of Armando Iannucci’s manifesto for comedy and ensures that few people in the political eye are safe from the comedic genius’ satiric gaze.

Where has it all come from?

Based on the characters formed in an award-winning BBC series ‘The Thick Of It’, ‘In The Loop’ builds a farcical, yet unnervingly believable situation around British and U.S. foreign policy makers – choosing to pick on a scenario of burgeoning enthusiasm for war in the Middle East.

Whipping up a frenzy around an increasingly befuddled British minister, the media – another area that rarely escapes Iannucci’s eye – is ever ready to snap up any slips made by the British. Creating these caricatures of life in power is a hallmark of Iannucci, but it builds very smoothly on British comedy’s legacy of portraying political figures as farcical, out-of-control and dim-witted people in power. Much of ‘In The Loop’ will ring bells with those familiar with that greatly revered British comedy series.

A hero of British comedy

Armando Iannucci has been behind the scenes for many years, and has only recently come to the fore in more prominent roles.

Very much the anchor of modern British satire, he brought together Chris Morris, Steve Coogan, Stewart Lee, Richard Herring and Peter Baynham which resulted in ground-breaking series’ such as ‘The Day Today’, ‘Fist Of Fun’, ‘Brass Eye’ and most famously, the character of ‘Alan Partridge’.

‘In The Loop’ is Iannucci’s first feature film, which has garnered considerable acclaim from critics across the UK and US. His scriptwriting talents on the film have been acknowledged both sides of the Atlantic, with nominations for an Oscar as well as a BAFTA. David Rasche, who plays US assistant secretary, Linton Barwick, explains Iannucci’s quality, “I guess the thing about Armando is that he has an ear and an eye: he sees things that are going on and he hears things that are funny.”

British comedy around the world

British comedy hasn’t had much success abroad since the era of Monty Python, but contemporary British comedians are becoming increasing well known around the world. “People like Steve Coogan

and ‘Borat’…‟ explains producer Kevin Loader, “…have helped to broaden the taste… so that British comedy of embarrassment, edge and satire is now easily accepted.‟

The British sense of humour lends itself well to the ridicule of those aspects of life which frustrate and annoy the public. British temperament demands little in the way of action, but much in mockery. Politics and bureaucracy are facets of life in the UK that Iannucci understands and is always ready to satirize. “Armando is a brilliant satirist, that’s what he is, and he definitely understands this world of politics and is obsessed by it,” says Tom Hollander, who shares a similar passion for politics.

Improvisational cinema

Improvisation in television and radio is commonplace in British media, but far less so in cinema. Iannucci’s direction often had actors improvising on the script – and with good reason – as Iannucci elucidates; “One of the reasons why we have this partly improvised style is because the whole story of these politicians is about people making things up as they go along.‟

As Anna Chlumsky recounts, ‘improvisational cinema’ is an intensive process; “Basically we do at least one take sticking tightly to the script. Then Armando will come around and say: Ok, let’s loosen it up this time. I think on all our first days, we all felt a little bit of pressure to impress or to be funny, but you soon realize it’s not about that. It’s much more about being that character and trying to think about what he or she will do next. It’s about loosening up the atmosphere.‟

When can I see it?

In The Loop will be showing as part of the From Blighty with Love season across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore on the 13th and the 16th of March, with a live chat with Armando Iannucci after the show on the 16th.

The Guardian

Time Out London

One Comment

  1. Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m a big fan of the TV series and wasn’t sure how well it would be realised in the big-screen format but I wasn’t disappointed

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