In the Loop
With no apologies whatsoever to The Hangover, Armando Iannucci’s raucous satire In the Loop boasts more laughs per minute than any film made last year. That’s not to say that the subject matter is fanciful; the “loop” in question is the inner circle that decides how to sell a war in the Middle East, and what information needs to be squelched. Like an Ealing Studios comedy parable directed with the brash sexual politics of Howard Hawks, In the Loop sucks a variety of memorable comic characters into its vortex of political seduction. Among them are James Gandolfini’s conscientious but impotent American general, a couple of low-level twits (Tom Hollander and Chris Addison) willing to sell their souls for a police motorcade, and a foulmouthed Scottish “handler” (the wonderful Peter Capaldi, snubbed by the Oscars in favor of Matt Damon’s soggy miscasting in Invictus).