Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: In the Loop (2009)

This week’s selection as part of Todd Mason’s ongoing blogging series, Tuesday’s Overlooked Films, is the 2009 British political comedy In the Loop. This title was previously referred to on Todd Mason’s blog when he was talking about political TV shows. And as Todd mentioned to me yesterday while this film may not exactly fall into the purview of “Overlooked Cinema,” it definitely deserves much more notice and recognition than it received upon its initial release.

Here is a synopsis of the film (Source: Official IFC Films website):
From the creative team behind the award-winning BBC series The Thick of It, In the Loop pokes fun at the absurdity and ineptitude of our highest leaders. With everyone looking out for number one, and the fate of the free world at stake (but apparently incidental), the hilarious ensemble cast of characters bumbles its way through Machiavellian political dealings, across continents, and toward comic resolutions that are unforeseeable.

I previously heard about this film at the Tribeca Film Festival and missed my opportunity to see it. When it received a wider theatrical release, I felt like it came and went. A little while later, I ended up watching it on cable one day and am so glad I did. The sheer ineptitude of the key players is on one hand hilarious, while also sadly being within the realm of possibility (if a little less hyperbolic).

In the Loop features an all-star cast that includes James Gandolfini, Peter Capaldi (my personal favorite character), Tom Hollander, Anna Chlumsky, Chris Addison, Steve Coogan and Gina McKee.

Check out the trailer here:

In the Loop is directed by Armando Iannucci and co-written by Jesse Armstrong,  Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche.

Awards and Accolades:

Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival 2009, Tribeca Film Festival 2009, Los Angeles Film Festival 2009
Nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay & Outstanding British Film (BAFTA), Best Film, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor(British Independent Film Awards), Best Screenplay (NYFCC Awards), Best Adapted Screenplay (Academy Award)
Winner: Best Screenplay (British Independent Film Awards)


  1. I tried to watch this once, but I had to turn it off. Which is strange as I know most people like it. Maybe I was in a grumpy mood on that day
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  2. Well, I’d better stop making that Gore Vidal comparison, then.
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  3. Patti Abbott says:

    I saw this but it didn’t stick very much. Need to look into why.

    • I think it is one of those films that you either go with or not. What I heard is that the show “The Thick of It” was better than the film although dealing with a similar subject. I watched it a couple of times before I got “it.”

  4. Pretty freaking hilarious with some awesome dialogue and lines. I didn’t love it but it’s a great script and a nice bunch of deadpan comedians.
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  5. I know I’m in the minority as far as movie bloggers go, but I really do think the expletive in movies these days are way excessive and sex, well they’re more gratuitous than ever. But again, I’m in the minority in that regard, but fortunately there are still a handful films that have neither, but it’s becoming scarce.
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    • Not sure you are that much in the minority more so that many people just accept it as a matter of fact. I am realizing its presence because I am around my nieces and nephews a lot and do not want to expose them to that stuff.

  6. This certainly is an overlooked film, very funny and some great performances. Rewatched it a couple of months back and I laughed as much as I did the first time.
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  7. I’m with Ruth. If I’m watching a movie and I become aware that the language is making me feel as if I need a shower – I just stop the film. I don’t mind the occasional this and that, if the storyline calls for it. But the gratuitousness of it (in today’s world) makes me cringe.

    I don’t invite people into my home that speak that way, why should I tolerate it on screen? I don’t even think I’m a prude. I just don’t want my ears and my pysche assaulted. I love the English language and I hate the idea that it is being diluted into gibberish.

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