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I saw The Founder ... I keep thinking about it. Aside from a captivating story about Kroc and McDonalds - It's a story about the deterioration of America in a capitalistic society- at least that's what I thought. Keaton's Kroc was deep and the cast was great.
The cinematography and music were ordinary -but the writing and acting made up for it.
Anyone else see it?
Thank you and have a great day
Michael Keaton does an excellent job playing an ambitious man (usually down on his luck) looking for his lucky strike. He finds it the form of San Bernadino's "McDonalds" restaurant which he believes is a veritable gold mine. The only thing that stands in his way is Dick and Mac McDonald (Offerman and Lynch)who live by a strict code of "their way". Once Kroc talks them into a better franchise concept the business has a rocky start but begins to build steam after reordering priorities that don't match up with the brothers' contract. Kroc resorts to war and eventually buys out his contracts, steals the name, and proclaims himself as "founder".
This film starts out in the innocent 50's with Kroc being a traveling salesman. He goes the California to investigate a new customer and is amazed at the concept of getting an order out within thirty seconds. The McDonald brothers proudly show him their operation and it is illustrated in a very amusing way for the audience. The film shows us Kroc's hit and misses with bankers and his struggle to make it work. His marriage to Dern slowly disintegrates and ends in divorce. But Kroc never gives up and "going low" ultimately proves his best bet.
The acting is superb, the story and narrative well presented, and the unmistakable feeling of a time gone by apparent at all times. I'm surprised this wasn't squeezed in before year's end as it will be mostly forgotten by nomination time next year.
This story shows the hope, aspirations, and ugliness of American business at its best. Must see.
Billy Wonka - Excellent summation, I agree 100% and thanks for articulating many impressions I had about the film.
The only problems I had (and I might be nitpicking because it was a wonderful film) was the editing - often done in quick 1 to 2 second clips. I think the director was facing the challenge of making eating at a McDondalds eventful and cinematic (for example). I found this quick editing annoying and distracting at times.
And the music was mostly meaningless. It played like a 90's PBS special with generic "Americana" vamps. It wasn't appropriate for the era either. I really didn't like it. That said, the "Pennies from Heaven" scene was magical.
Yes, I saw it in its theatrical release. Similar impression to yours. Overall, a very appropriate casting job. OTOH, found it to be a bittersweet experience. It portrayed Kroc as simultaneously an insightful entrepreneur and an unfeeling "jerk". Really screwed over the McDonald bros. in the name of unrestrained business "progress". The little bios during closing credits were interesting and thought provoking. Was also amazed at the proportion of the world's population that McDonalds feeds every day. Haven't been to a McDonalds since seeing it.
Thanks for your post Steve. "Bittersweet" is a good word. I liked how Kroc wasn't a completely without merit. The monologue "the flag and the courthouse, the church with a cross with the golden arches in the middle" showed his foresight. And as much as I felt sorry for the McDonald brothers, I wondered if Dick McDonald was less stubborn about the original contractual agreement - if things would have turned out differently? But then again, Kroc was a driven unethical man.
Have a great day!
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