After reading A.O. Scott’s review, I was itching to see In the Loop.  The writer and director Armando Iannucci is a King of British Comedy.  His big success is the T.V. show The Thick of It which follows the misadventures of a hapless British Cabinet Minister.  In the Loop is a movie version of the the same kind of thing.  It depicts British involvement in the lead-up to the Iraq war.  The anti-hero of the movie is Malcolm Tucker, the Prime Minister’s spinmeister played with great aplomb by Peter Capaldi.  I have always had a soft spot for Capaldi since his role in Local Hero (1983) a gentle Scottish comedy.  In that movie, a Texas oil magnate and his employee are charmed by the easy  and beautiful life on the Scottish coast.  I am easily suggestible and, despite the weather, I wanted to retire to Scotland and own a  pub after watching Local Hero.

Britain’s ability to influence its powerful ally has declined since 1983.  The British poodle wags its tail at the order of its American master.  Even Malcolm Tucker is forced to admit that he is subservient to a sinister Rumsfeldian warmonger, Linton Barwick.  In my imagination, Barwick is a Purell-using fiend.  He prefers his epithets ready-bleeped (“s-star-star-t”).  In the swearing department, Tucker has no equal and I have added to my already large lexicon.  His variations on the f-word would have the Cambridge Police putting him in leg irons.  The swearing -and there is a lot of it- embellishes rather than detracts from the dialogue  It sparkles like an effing diamond.  The intricate plot and the amazing writing are the center of this movie.  In the Age of Obama, we may want to draw a curtain over the build-up to the Iraq War.  But it’s not the war but the politicking and manoeuvring behind it that drive the plot.  British schoolboys will be reciting lines and so will I.  Ending this review is “difficult, difficult, lemon-difficult” so “f-star-star-kitty bye”.

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