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Double Feature Review: The Informant! & Out of Sight

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Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Stars: Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Patton Oswalt

The Informant! is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a while, constructed in such an interesting way—we’re constantly feeling like we missed a scene or some explanation, and yet we’re never lost. I vacillated back and forth between “OK so he’s definitely making this up…. no wait I think he’s being honest….. oh no I guess he is lying…. now wait a minute I think I believe him…” over and over again. It was such a fascinating watching process, and I can’t recall other movies that have had that effect on me (though perhaps there are some and you could share examples with me in the comments).

Filling The Informant! with comedians was such a great idea—there aren’t really jokes in this movie as much as there are funny caricatures of people you know from around your own office, and by hiring comedians to play these characters straight, the inherent absurdity of this whole story and the kinds of people that enable something like this to happen become crystal clear.

I wish I were watching this again right now, it was such a joy to discover and watch.

Score: ★★★★☆


Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Frank
Stars: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames

After enjoying The Informant!, my friend Madeleine recommended I give Out of Sight a shot and I am ever so grateful. Not only is this fun and funny in the ways Sodergergh movies often are (narrowing in on character idiosyncrasies, letting his actors find those moments), populated from top to bottom with great actors (even in the smallest roles), it’s one of the most romantic movies I’ve ever seen. The extended sequence where it’s snowing and Lopez is just trying to enjoy a drink alone but keeps getting hounded by these finance bros, only to have them and their approach juxtaposed with Clooney when he arrives – and then he and Lopez try to fake their way through a lie that would allow them to be together, only to have their romance be burning so white hot they can’t even fake it – it’s beautifully shot, heart-wrenchingly tragic, and absolutely the sexiest, most romantic thing I’ve seen in a movie in a long time.

And also Dennis Farina. Nothing more needs to be said about that, because obviously, Dennis Farina.

Score: ★★★

Find these reviews, and more of Garrett’s reviews, on Letterboxd.

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