September 20, 2009

The Informant! - 2009

Director: Stephen Soderbergh
Writers: Scott Z. Burns & Kurt Eichenwald
Starring: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula

"Everyone is a victim of corporate crime by the time they finish breakfast." Soderbergh's latest film The Informant! details the true story of Archer Daniels Midland employee Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) who, while in the process of rooting out a company mole, turns whistleblower on a price-fixing scheme in his company's industry (mostly corn-based food additives). There's a little more to the plot (which you might already know, since it's based on a true story), but I'll try to stay relatively spoiler-free.

I recommend you go see this film as soon as possible. Soderbergh has recovered from his recent flop The Girlfriend Experience (although I understand people's hesitation to see a porn star play a prostitute in a real movie), and is back to the top form we saw in the Ocean's trilogy. A thirty-pounds-heavier Matt Damon excels comedically, in no small part due to what could end up an Oscar-nominated screenplay (the best parts are probably Whitacre's internal monologues about the German language, Japanese culture, polar bears, and everything else under the sun). Surprisingly, the score's also notable, with some nice James Bond-esque riffs during the corporate espionage scenes. My only complaint: it's very hard to take Tony Hale (formerly the man-child Buster on Arrested Development) seriously, especially as a lawyer. The same applies to Patton Oswalt, to a lesser extent. Overall, though, this might be my favorite comedy of the year.

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