THE FOUNDER

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4 stars
In the 1950’s, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton - Spotlight) was a travelling salesman hauling oversized milkshake machines around the country when he received a large order from a single hamburger business in San Bernardino, California.
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Curious, he drove half-way across the country to check on this lone operation that wanted six of his devices. What he saw astounded him - the very first ‘fast food’ enterprise, the creation of brothers Mac (John Carroll Lynch - Ted 2) and Dick (Nick Offerman - Me And Earl And The Dying Girl) McDonald, who’d invented a way to streamline the service of burgers, fries and shakes so that food could be delivered almost instantly.

To Ray it was nothing short of a revolution… and a revelation! He immediately recognised the potential to create a franchise that could establish a hamburger chain right across America. The McDonalds though, hardworking, decent men, were reluctant to expand their business because they felt they’d be unable to maintain the quality of their product but they were about to find out that Ray’s catchword was “perseverance” and, ultimately, he convinced them to accept his offer. As the number of franchisees expanded, however, so did the tyrannical behaviour of their partner who was soon billing himself as ‘the founder’ of McDonalds. As one of the brothers says in the film, “There’s a fox in the henhouse and we let him in!”

Robert D. Siegel’s script is a fascinating portrayal of greed, success and betrayal and a frightening depiction of the American Dream. Keaton delivers another terrific performance in a similar vein to his character in Birdman, playing a thoroughly unlikeable character yet managing to make the audience want him to succeed, even at the expense of his marriage to his long-suffering wife Ethel (Laura Dern - 99 Homes) and the seduction of his new one, Joan (Linda Cardellini - Mad Men), while she’s still married to one of his franchisees. That’s quite a feat and I predict Keaton will be nominated for a Best Actor gong at the Oscars for this role, a nomination that’ll be thoroughly deserved.

// SALT

Previewed at the Roadshow Theatre, Sydney, on 8 November 2016.
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STARRING
Michael Keaton
Laura Dern
John Carroll Lynch
Nick Offerman

DIRECTOR
John Lee Hancock

SCREENWRITER
Robert D. Siegel

COUNTRY

UK

CLASSIFICATION
M

RUNTIME
115 minutes

AUSTRALIAN
RELEASE DATE
November 24, 2016
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The Founder (2016) on IMDb
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