Friday, June 4, 2010

The Informant! (2009)

Saw The Informant! the other day. Yes, we're working our way through movies we missed last fall. While making sure to miss plenty of movies this summer so we have something to catch up on this fall.

Maybe it's just that I haven't watched enough Steven Soderbergh to get this movie. I've watched my share, but mostly the wrong ones (loved the Oceans movies). In any case, I was disappointed by this. I appreciated its stylistic qualities - like David Edelstein, I thought this film felt a lot like Burn After Reading - but for me they weren't enough to save the film. Jim Emerson, who's always worth keeping in your RS feed (do people still use those? I do), disagreed. Read him for a pretty persuasive defense of the movie.

Not quite persuasive enough for me, I guess. I felt (again, like Edelstein), that it seemed that Soderbergh was "utterly uninterested in corporate misbehavior and its ramifications."

Like, this movie seemed, to me, to be guilty of exactly what the Coens are always getting accused of, but falsely in my book: too much detachment. Burn After Reading was, I submit, passionate about things like the effects of the spy-on-your-neighbor policies of the Bush administration and the overall dumbing-down of America; it just expressed those passions in a characteristically polite and urbane way. The Informant!, for all its pleasures, didn't really seem to care much about what ADM was doing to consumers in the '90s. (Or maybe this was just the wrong movie for me to see when I'm upset about BP deleting the Gulf of Mexico...)

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