In the Loop (2009)
A political satire about a group of skeptical American and British operatives attempting to prevent a war between two countries.
The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster. But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington, DC. If Simon can get in with the right DC people, if his entourage of one can sleep with the right intern, and if they can both stop the Prime Minister's chief spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker rigging the vote at the UN, they can halt the war. If they don't... well, they can always sack their Director of Communications Judy, who they never liked anyway and who's back home dealing with voters with blocked drains and a man who's angry about a collapsing wall.
The British Prime Minister and the US President infer that they want to embark on a war in the Middle East. Simon Foster, the British Minister for International Development, states off the cuff in a radio interview that "war is unforeseeable". He later tries to recant this statement to a hoard of news reporters with another statement: "to walk the road of peace, sometimes we need to be ready to climb the mountain of conflict". Both these remarks start a series of manoeuvrings on both sides of the Atlantic by both the pro- and anti-war factions in both governments. On the British side, Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed communications manager, sends Foster back to deal with the mundane details of constituent complaints, a process at which he is equally inept. On the US side, US Assistant Secretary for Diplomacy Karen Clarke and US Lieutenant General George Miller lead the anti-war faction, against chief warmonger Linton Barwick, the US Assistant Secretary for Policy. Each, with his/her entourage of staff, some of whom do not agree with their political master, will do whatever he or she needs to to achieve the desired end goal. This includes having fake meetings, having fake committees, spinning information, leaking information and documents, and doctoring documents. These manoeuvrings are most important in the lead up to the UN vote on the issue.
- IN THE LOOP is a foul-mouthed comedy that draws on non-specific events to create a world that is terrifyingly familiar: The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war, but not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. US General Miller (James Gandolfini The Sopranos, The Taking Of Pelham 123) certainly doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride and Prejudice). But when the mild-mannered minister inadvertently appears to back the war on prime-time television, he immediately attracts the attention of the PMs venomously aggressive communications chief Malcolm Tucker (reprised from The Thick of It by Peter Capaldi), who latches onto him like a hawk. Soon, the Brits are in Washington, where diplomatic relations collide with trans-Atlantic spin doctors and Fosters off-hand remark quickly spirals into an insurmountable mountain of conflict. [D-Man2010]