Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nog Informs You About the Informant! (whose exclamation point is part of its title)

One would imagine that a corporate whistle-blower film starring Matt Damon marks a complete return to the mainstream for Soderbergh after his four-hour Che (which I didn't see) and his escort-service film The Girlfriend Experience (which I did). But it's a surprisingly odd little picture that I expect will alienate half the audience who show up expecting a more conventional thriller.

Soderbergh seems less concerned with making the standard corporate intrigue picture than he is interested in the inner-workings of the mind of a man (Damon) who realizes that his penchant for lying is perfectly suited within the corruption of his company and has himself a ball manipulating his fellow workers and a group of FBI agents while lining his own pockets. Damon is very good here, bulking up and talking fast after his largely silent presence in the Bourne flicks (the interior monologues are very amusing...he seems to imagine himself as a character in a Grisham-y/Crichton-y kind of novel, and Marvin Hamlisch's silly, spritely score is a perfect complement to his mindset while still seemingly oddly unsuited to the actual movie that we are witnessing).

The film itself ultimately seems slight to me, not compelling or tense enough to work as a corporate thriller, not funny enough to play as farce, not deep enough for any kind of powerful condemnation of big business. But Damon is reason enough for a look and kudos to him and Soderbergh for continuing to pick interesting projects.


  1. I didn't see CHE either. Did anybody see this film who doesn't write for "Film Comment"?

  2. Haha...maybe four other people (and I'll bet two of those didn't make it through both parts!).

    But A.O. Scott has a good piece on Soderbergh in yesterday's NY-Times.