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'In the Loop': the brightest, funniest, most foul-mouthed British political farce of the year

Earlier on Monday, Owen and I cast our votes with our colleagues in the New York Film Critics Circle for the best in 2009 movies. (Here’s what won.) And in the course of the morning meeting, In the Loop kept popping up for consideration, eventually winning the award for Best Screenplay. A spin-off of the BBC TV series The Thick Of It, about contemporary diplomatic relations between the U.K. and the U.S., In the Loop features Tom Hollander as a twitty British government minister  and the extraordinary Peter Capaldi as an apoplectic Blackadder of a government director of communications whose every spewed epithet is a thing of linguistic beauty, enhanced by a Scottish burr.

And yes, that’s James Gandolfini, above, playing the part of a wily American general with a mouth on him, too, although minus the lilting British accent.

reviewed the movie when it was (briefly) released theatrically in the U.S. last summer, calling it “a brainy British comedy” about British and American “motormouthed and hilariously imperfect power elite.” But now it’s time to offer In the Loop for your consideration again, because it’s just that good. And funny. And have I mentioned, foul-mouthed, in a terribly civilized, epithet-loving British way?

Find it on Netflix. Meanwhile, enjoy this trailer, which is kind of a mess,. Plus, it leaves out the ripest of the F-bombs. But it’s a taste.

Photo credit: Nicola Dove

Originally posted December 14 2009 — 8:15 PM EST

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