and wit are the weapons used in the newly-released, “In the Loop.”
This clever dig at diplomacy, or its absence, on both sides of the
Atlantic is filled with witticisms. The sharp script is supported by
an excellent cast of British and American actors, such as Peter
Capaldi, Tom Hollander, David Rasche, Mimi Kennedy and James
Gandolfini. Malcolm Tucker (Capaldi), British Director of
Communications has a limited, but memorable vocabulary. His
intimidated underling, Simon Foster, makes an awkward statement which
begins the avalanche of events. On the American side, the dominant
force is State Department policymaker Linton Barwick, who
demonstrates his love of war by using live hand grenades as
paperweights. Other players include Karen Clark of the State
Department and General Miller of the Pentagon. These anti-war,
ex-lovers, hang on the edge of the “mountain of conflict,”
struggling to become informed and “in the loop.”
policy is handled by those more concerned about their office décor
and careers than the realities of war. The immaturity of those in
charge clearly is apparent. While in the White House, General Miller
attempts to uncover war plans through the use of a child's toy
computer. Also in Washington, a 22 year old White House employee
greets a very angry Mr. Barwick before offering to ask his even
younger assistant to bring coffee.
sleep together, snarl at each other and contribute to the chaos.
Global issues momentarily pause as Simon deals with a constituent's
problem in England. This local situation seems as important as the
UN vote on war.
the Loop” is derived from a British television series, and at
times, the camera work resembles that of a TV show. This clearly is
not a film supported by special effects and therefore, the “small
screen” treatment works. Dialogue comes quickly and some is
filtered through British accents, so close attention is needed.
the Loop” reflects the political realities in the US and the UK,
ignorance may indeed be bliss. This very clever film stimulates
laughter and thought.