28 Feb 2010
"In the Loop" is a British comedy lampooning the US-UK effort to attack Iraq. The film is a satire of the Anglo-American diplomatic wrangling in the lead-up to the war. It's been nominated for an Oscar this year and despite its serious subject matter, has been described by a New York Times review as the "funniest big-screen satire in recent memory."
"The short summary is that everybody betrays everybody else, that opportunism trumps idealism and that telling the truth is a matter of tactical calculation rather than ethical imperative," continues the New York Times review.
"In the Loop" has been nominated by the Academy for best adapted screenplay -- quite a feat for a script described as one of the coarsest to come along in years.
In the run up to the Oscars in an interview with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, the film's director and co-writer, Armando Iannucci, talked about why he made the movie.
He said: "Not long after the actual invasion of Iraq, our Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, was on a radio interview being asked about speculation about invading Iran, and he said invading Iran—military conflict with Iran was "inconceivable." And then he appeared on the same radio show three days later and said, "When I said "inconceivable," I meant currently inconceivable. It might be conceivable to think of a time in the future where it might not be inconceivable." But clearly something happened in those three days. He was hauled in by the backroom bullyboys at Downing Street and told he wasn't toeing the government line. And I just thought that was fascinating. I (wanted) to know what happened in those three days. So that was really the starting point of the film."
Iannucci goes on further to say that, "The film is—it's a fiction. We don't say the country. We don't say who the prime minister is or who the US president is. But it's about a prime minister and a president wanting to go to war in the Middle East. We never see them, but we see the sort of the middle management politicians, the junior ministers and all the backroom staff in the State Department, the Pentagon and in London, all of whom have some difficulties with what's happening, but very few of whom actually do anything about it. And we see how really it's the build-up of the inaction of all the little people that leads to something major happening."