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The Founder

A biopic about businessman Ray Kroc who made a worldwide empire with McDonalds that is convincing as a half nostalgic, half analytical look at a time of upheaval in the US, the economy, and with it capitalism around the world.

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Have you heard the name Ray Kroc before? It’s thanks to him that billions of people first think of cardboard-like buns wrapped in paper when they think of burgers and the McDonalds label became the most known in the world. But the man didn’t really invent the company in the 50s, as THE FOUNDER shows. Traveling salesman Kroc (Michael Keaton) comes across McDonalds by chance and meets brothers Mac and Dick McDonald (John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman) who prioritize speed and simplicity. Having searched for a stellar business idea for a long time, ambitious Kroc convinces the two to close a franchise deal with him – and soon after the golden arches spread all over the country. However, there is still serious tension between the business partners because of their completely different goals, especially when Kroc wants to make milkshakes out of powder for the sake of efficiency and the like. Director John Lee Hancock(BLIND SIDE) can’t quite decide whether he sees his protagonist as a brilliant business hero or a mean swindler. THE FOUNDER’S curse and blessing are one and the same: the story never gets at Ray Kroc’s true self but Michael Keaton gets the material to play Kroc with shades of gray in a fascinating way. The film is more convincing as a half-nostalgic, half-analytical look at a period of upheaval in the US, its economy, and capitalism worldwide.

Patrick Heidmann (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA 2016, 115 min
Language: English
Director: John Lee Hancock
Author: Robert D. Siegel
DOP: John Schwartzman
Montage: Robert Frazen
Music: Carter Burwell
Distributor: Splendid Film
Cast: Michael Keaton, Patrick Wilson, Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, Nick Offerman.
Release: 20.04.2017

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