Matt Damon gives his all for his craft.
Blawgletter treasures the cinema. Watching film makes us giddy. Plus we adore any celluloid through which light can project flickering images, upon a screen or picture tube, of Matt Damon.
You thus may imagine our joy at seeing he who played Will Hunting . . . James Francis Ryan . . . Jason Bourne . . . and Linus Caldwell last weekend at The Angelika. Only this time Lord Damon gained 30 plus pounds in the name of portraying the lysine price-fixing, and Sherman Act section 1-violating, bad guy Mark Whitacre, a bipolar executive at Archer Daniels Midland, the former Supermarket to the World, at least on public television.
You may also guess at our chagrin that The Informant! director Steven Soderbergh and script-writer Scott Z. Burns chose not to include a lecture on how price-fixing hurts consumers. And why the antitrust-phobic decision in Twombly will cost people who buy commodities — all of us — tens and maybe hundreds of billions of dollars. But we digress.
At the risk of spoiling the surprise ending, we will tell you that Whitacre's felonious ways seem to owe a big debt to the fact that he lies a great deal. The movie struck us in fact as a journey into the pathology of a man who can't tell the difference between truth and fiction . . . or at least cares nothing about it.
The Informant! doesn't actually end with a surprise. We regret any misunderstanding. Except that, in addition to fixing prices with competitors, Whitacre stole $11.5 million from ADM. That fact seems less surprising after you've seen the movie. Which we recommend.