The Founder (Advanced Screening) Review

“I’m Lovin’ It” chances are you’ve eaten here once or twice, but do you know the story behind the golden arches?

Release Date: Thursday January 19th (late showings), officially out Friday January 20th.

“Franchise the damn thing.”

I’ve been intrigued by this movie ever since I saw the trailer last year. It was actually supposed to be due out on August 20th, 2016. But according to IMDb, it was moved because it was said “to be a strong Academy Awards contender”   I thought this movie would be interesting to see the story of how McDonald’s came to be (which I’m sure took dramatic liberties), and its always great to see Michael Keaton in a lead role.

The Founder is a Biography, Drama and History film about the story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world.

The Founder is directed by John Lee Hancock. I am not too familiar with his work but he has directed a fair bit of films. The only film I have seen that he has directed is The Rookie (2002) and that was almost 14 years ago, so I don’t remember much of it. He also directed The Blind Side (2009), and Saving Mr. Banks (2013). I haven’t seen either of these films but from what I’ve heard about them, they’re good films. I thought the film was well directed. It was simple, but this film didn’t need flashy visuals, it just needed to tell the story.

The film is written by Robert D. Siegel. I know some of his films, he wrote The Wrestler (2008) which I thought was an underrated film and I definitely need to revisit soon. He also wrote the animated film Turbo in 2013. I thought the script was pretty good, there was a great mix of drama and subtle comedy. It takes real talent to make a script funny but dramatic at the same time and have neither come off as forced.

The film stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald, John Carroll Lynch as Mac MacDonald, B.J. Novak as Harry J. Sonneborn and Laura Dern as Ethel Kroc.

Michael Keaton’s filmography consists of Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Jackie Brown (1997), White Noise (2005), Cars (2006), The Other Guys (2010), Toy Story 3 (2010), RoboCop (2014), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), Need For Speed (2014), and Spotlight (2015). Surprise, the leading role in the movie goes to the actor who stole the show… but Keaton was great in this role, his methods of acting in crazy, I feel like he really gets into the minds of the character. I even read that he took up piano lessons in preparation for the film after he discovered that the real life Ray Kroc liked to play piano. It’s these reasons that Michael Keaton exceeds expectation, and It’s always super interesting to learn about the lengths and backgrounds that Keaton goes to in order to act a role, but not only does he act the roles, he becomes the roles. Keaton was Ray Kroc, and it was just a master class of acting.

Nick Offerman’s filmography consists of 21 Jump Street (2012), The Kings Of Summer (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), 22 Jump Street (2014), Fargo TV Series (2015), Parks and Recreation Tv Series (2009-2015), and Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015). Ron Swanson is one of the most epic TV personalities of all time, his one liners are epic, his persona is one of a kind and that could only come from Nick Offerman. Nick Offerman is a supremely underrated actor. He’s known well for his brilliant comedy, but he has the gift to be able to be hilarious and have a great drama role, and sometimes he mixes the two. I thought he had great chemistry with Keaton and John Carroll Lynch; especially Lynch because they were playing brothers and were always together. It was great to see him in this role, and I think it’ll show people the other side of Nick Offerman

John Carroll Lynch’s filmography consists of Fargo (1996), Face/Off (1997), Gone In Sixty Seconds (2000), The Drew Carey Show TV Series (1997-2004), Zodiac (2007), Gran Torino (2008), Shutter Island (2010), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), Paul (2011), Ted 2 (2015), and The Invitation (2015). I always get creeped out by Lynch because of Zodiac, he played the role of Arthur Lee Allen so well in that film, he was genuinely unnerving and creepy. Its always interesting to see one film by an actor in which he plays a creepy character and then automatically picture them as that character in everything else that they do. This lasted for the first little scene in the movie in which Lynch was there, and it turns out that he’s actually a really good actor. I was surprised, as he seems to always play a similar actor in everything else. He was great in this movie, great chemistry with everyone and I really liked him in this.

Laura Dern’s filmography consists of Blue Velvet (1986), Jurassic Park (1993), October Sky (1999), I Am Sam (2001), Jurassic Park III (2001), and Wild (2014). It’s always great to see Laura Dern act, she’s a master of her craft and is able to play really even roles. I say even because I don’t think I’ve ever seen her yell in a film, and even when the drama starts, she stays even footed. She was very good in this movie.

I don’t know how much of this film is completely accurate. Viewers must always be skeptical of these “based on true events” or “based on a true story” films as the filmmakers take liberty with the events and add more  drama to them to get viewers in seats. I liked the story though, it was super interested to see the possible events that led to this multi-billion dollar franchise.

My downside to this film is that it was rather slow, I felt like it drew out some events that didn’t need to be drawn out, and it glanced over events I would have liked to see more of. I guess when making a film though you have to get rid of the smaller detail to make way for the bigger detail.

All in all though I thought this was a pretty good movie. The acting alone made it worth the watch, but it was interesting to know about the story.

If you want a based on a true story movie with some really great acting, you’d fulfill that want with The Founder.

The Founder gets a 4/5 from me.

Until Next Time!


Note 1:

I am attending an advanced screening of Gold starring Matthew McConaughey on January 25th, so stay tuned for a review for that.

Note 2:

Inspirational Movie Monday is making a comeback starting next week on January 23rd, so stay tuned for that as well!

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