The Informant! (2009)

I found Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!, like the exclamation point in its title, to be surprising and funny. It is funny in the way shown in the trailer–Matt Damon plays a pudgy, earnest guy blowing the whistle on his company’s practice of price fixing in the corn industry. It further surprises by casting actors known for comedy, like Joel McHale, Buster from Arrested Development and Biff from Back to the Future, as straight men. Scott Bakula as the befuddled FBI guy is also very good. Damon’s bizarre character is the center the others orbit around, and I liked the effect of having these guys play against type and react to Damon, who was very, very funny. He gained thirty pounds for the role, but what stood out for me were his lacquered hair and his endless array of ugly but expensive ties–I know I bought ones just like them in the early 90’s for my boyfriend and father. It’s Damon’s character, who starts out bumbling and is gradually revealed to be much more complicated, that really made this movie for me. Not high art, but definitely enjoyable and worth paying full price for, especially some of the reveals would be easily spoiled between now and the DVD release.

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