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The Informant!

Release Date: September 18, 2009


Movie of the Day for Monday, April 20, 2009
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I'm taking a page from the Philip Seymour Hoffman and Russ Crowe book!

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
15/38 John Seal Return to form for Steven Soderbergh plays like a comedic Shattered Glass
24/169 Max Braden This is lightly amusing, but in a weird limbo between drama and outright comedy. I liked The Hoax better because The Informant glossed over the more interesting second half's details.

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See, if this was anyone but Steven Soderbergh, I’d be convinced that IMDb is just messing with me. Because according to IMDb, Steven’s in post-production on two films set for 2009 releases: a darkly comic political thriller about a lawsuit exposing a manipulative agri-business corporation (The Informant), and a light comedy about a high-paid New York call girl (The Girlfriend Experience). No one but Steven Soderbergh would do those two things at the same time. For him, though, it makes perfect sense, like making Ocean’s Twelve one year, Bubble the next, and then The Good German after that. Such are the mercurial whims of Soderbergh.

Anyway, The Informant stars Matt Damon as real-life whistleblower Mark Whitacre, who hoarded data for years en route to exposing a price-fixing scheme by business giant Archer Daniels Midland. Whitacre subsequently went to jail for embezzling money from the company during all that whistleblowing business, so it’s pretty much a wash for his conscience in the end.

The film, which feels an awful lot like The Insider – right down to 2/3 of the title – is set to focus not only on the scandal surrounding Whitacre and ADM, but Whitacre’s real-life struggles with bipolar disorder. So now it’s starting to feel like A Beautiful Mind. Basically add two Russell Crowe roles together and one Matt Damon role comes out. Who knew?

In as the relevant FBI agents are Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, and comedian Allan Havey, and I don’t think I could’ve come up with three more random names if I had tried. The script, by Scott Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum,) is adapted from the book by Kurt Eichenwald. (Sean Collier/BOP)


Vital statistics for The Informant!
Main Cast Matt Damon
Supporting Cast Joel McHale, Scott Bakula, Mike O'Malley, Andrew Daly, Adam Paul, Melanie Lynskey, Tom Wilson, Rick Overton, Tom Papa, Candy Clark
Director Steven Soderbergh
Screenwriter Scott Burns
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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