The Informant! (2009)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, Lucas McHugh Carroll as Alexander Whitacre (as Lucas Carroll), Eddie Jemison as Kirk Schmidt, Rusty Schwimmer as Liz Taylor, Craig Ricci Shaynak as Discouraged Foreman, Tom Papa as Mick Andreas, Rick Overton as Terry Wilson, Melanie Lynskey as Ginger Whitacre, Thomas F. Wilson as Mark Cheviron (as Tom Wilson), Scott Bakula as Brian Shepard, Scott Adsit as Sid Hulse, Ann Dowd as FBI Special Agent Kate Medford, Allan Havey as FBI Special Agent Dean Paisley, Howie Johnson as Rusty Williams, Joel McHale as FBI Special Agent Bob Herndon
I suppose I will always find something to like in a Soderbergh movie.
The real joy is in never knowing just what that will be. Even in his
most mainstream projects he is exploring some new skill. Here it is the
notion of narration.
I'll have to see this a second time with a DVD stop button to be able
to fully catalog all the various modes that our filmmaker skips
seamlessly through. The main device he weaves these modes around is the
spine of the untrusted narrator. We have all sorts of layers and nodes
of deception with the only ones we can really trust being the guys
usually are the bottom of the garbage bin: the massive greedy company.
We have this fellow being dishonest to everyone, including himself. We
have no idea where the line is that he actually believes and we hear
only from him. Some of the internal dialog is hypnotizing: we are
lulled into accepting it because so much of it is appealingly funny. It
is a great trick of misdirection, allowing us to associate with this
Folded into this is are the watchers, nominally the FBI, then various
lawyers and the wife, but us of course, punctuated by a video at the
end directly to us (with the FBI behind a mirror).
A second surprise awaited me beyond the Soderbergh stretching. Matt
Damon finally does something impressive. He is truly something worth
watching here. I never would have guessed. I never would have believed.
In fact, this wouldn't have worked at all, this suspended belief within
the story, if he had not so believably become the character.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.