In the Loop (15)

SATIRIST Armando Iannucci – the man who brought us such TV gems as The Day Today, Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, and The Thick of It – has created his first feature film. A mild-mannered British government minister (Tom Hollander) inadverten

SATIRIST Armando Iannucci - the man who brought us such TV gems as The Day Today, Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, and The Thick of It - has created his first feature film.

A mild-mannered British government minister (Tom Hollander) inadvertently backs a war on prime-time television, immediately alerting the attention of the Prime Minister's aggressive communications chief, Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), from The Thick of It, who latches on to him like a hawk.

Soon, the Brits are in Washington, where a US general (The Sopranos' James Gandolfini) thinks war is a crazy idea.

The British minister's new adviser has his eye on an ambitious government intern. And soon there's to be a crucial vote at the UN.


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IN THE LOOP (15) also stars Steve Coogan, Anna Chlumsky, Gina McKee and Chris Addison.

Hollander is working with Iannucci for the first time, and is unreserved in his praise for the writer and director.

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"Armando is a brilliant satirist, that's what he is, and he definitely understands this world of politics and is obsessed by it."

Iannucci encourages his cast to improvise around the script while the camera is rolling. His aim is to create an immediacy to both the performances and the dialogue.

He explains: "One of the reasons why we have this partly improvised style is because the whole story of these politicians is about people making things up as they go along."

Hollander adds: "The dialogue as written is absolutely hilarious. The improvisation is more about the performance style, about 'dirtying up' the performances, removing the polish from the script."

CapaIdi again plays his The Thick of It TV character. He says: "Obviously Alastair Campbell is an influence on my character, but when we started nobody said: 'This is supposed to be Alastair Campbell.'

"But obviously when you're portraying the character of the foul-mouthed, cynical spin doctor there is only one �ber-spinner...so yes, he's there in the background.

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