In The Loop is the funniest, most quotable, and most rewatchable movie to be released in years, and if viewing it a half dozen times wasn’t enough you can now download and read the entire script- legally!
It was just recently that the script got a surprise Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay, which it undoubtedly deserves to win. Perhaps to demonstrate how deserving it is, Armando Ianucci has made the screenplay available through IFC films RIGHT HERE.
He’s also released these notes about the script. Enjoy.
Now can we get a friggin’ Region 1 release of The Thick of It already?
“For quite some time, I’d wanted to make a screwball comedy. A fast-talking, wildly acclerating ensemble comedy that gets stupider and stupider. I never imagined it would be about a war, and inspired by a very recent war at that.
But Simon, Jesse, Tony and I all felt that the more we found out about the dysfunction in Washington and the naivety in London leading up to the Iraq invasion, the more obvious it was that the only way to deal accurately and fairly with this topic was as a screwball comedy. When you hear that The Pentagon were recruiting only non Arabic-speaking civil servants to help run Iraq after invasion (because anyone who’d learnt Arabic must have suspiciously pro-Arab tendencies) then there is no alternative to comedy. Some people think comedy demeans a subject: I think comedy allows you to explore that subject from every conceivable angle. What we wanted to do was construct a plot so convoluted, present characters so outrageous, but root all of it in a detailed, accurate sense of realism, that we’d present a view of war as both wildly mad and yet utterly believable.
So we spent months laying out the plot of our story, weaving in references to real events, but all the time thinking of ways we could bury that reality underneath the comedy, devising plot-twists and farcical elements that hurtled the story along. It was very difficult to separate fact from fiction. Sometimes we’d invent stupid stories, and then politicians would come up to us afterwards and say ‘;How did you find that out? We thought we’d kept that quiet.’ The most sobering moment was when we showed the film to a theatre full of Washington insiders. They laughed throughout, but at the end one raised his hand and said, ‘That’s exactly how it happened.’
I’ve been amazed by In The Loop’s reception in the US. When it premiered at Sundance, just as President Obama was being sworn in, journalists would say to me: “This is the wrong time to be showing this movie. There’s so much hope and optimism here.” Six months later, when IFC released it, those same journalists were saying, “This is exactly the right time to show this movie: There’s so much pessimism and disappointment here.” My only consolation is that it can take just another six months for all that to change.
And so, six months on, comes the biggest twist: we find ourselves nominated for an Oscar. Reality, it seems, is always full of surprises.”