Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

In the Loop


Here is a script that was nominated for an Oscar, and had no less than four writers, plus the director, which is usually a disaster. But this time it seems to have meant that they used the best stuff each of them wrote. I doubt that any group of humans have ever been as articulate and funny and wicked and literate and obscene as the people shown here … but in a better world people’s dialogue would be that sharp. It’s like “The West Wing” on steroids, only everybody here is either cravenly out for him- or herself, or incompetent, working way above their pay grade. It’s about how we bumble into war sometimes, and we don’t even have a clear idea why, it just all sort of snowballs. It is satirical in the same way Wag the Dog was, so it didn’t make much money. As George S. Kaufman said, “Satire is what closes on Saturday night.” Most people can’t handle satire. I laughed and laughed and laughed, in the sort of appalled way you laugh at Dr. Strangelove: or How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Bomb. You laugh and at the same time you wish you weren’t laughing, because this is serious stuff, dammit}}, people are going to die because of the ineptitude of these brilliant, mouthy, narcissistic people. But if you get satire, you laugh anyway. I couldn’t recommend this more highly. One of the best movies of the year.