The Founder (2016)

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John Lee Hancock directs Michael Keaton, Laura Dern and John Carroll Lynch in this period biography of the man who franchised McDonalds from one busy takeaway into a global brand. 

Like last week’s Gold this latest colourful adventure in capitalism is an interesting story well told rather than anything special in terms of moviemaking craft or risk. And likewise it is elevated from solid to spectacular by a pitch perfect central performance by a well loved star. The irrepressible Micheal Keaton keeps his foot on the gas so you get caught in the whirlwind of a man who will stop at nothing to be a success. He inhabits the mania of someone who zealously knows what needs to happen to make the idea fly, the intense charm of a seasoned salesman and the cold calculation of a man who can’t share his success, as it needs to be solely his success. And after the strong but subdued comebacks in Birdman or Spotlight, suddenly we have the devil eyed, motormouth warrior that stood out in movies as diverse as Mr Mom, Beetlejuice, Pacific Heights or The Paper back, front and centre. The positive credit Keaton’s entire oeuvre cashes in on here means you cannot help to be conflicted by Ray Kroc’s distasteful blitzkrieg victory in business. You leave troubled about whether you have seen a success story or a tragedy even though Hancock essentially presents his all out war on anyone who may hold the brand back with a warm even-handed, matter of factness. Keaton brings the sweet to wash down all the hidden salt of the true tale. And as milkshake flavours go, a supersize Michael Keaton flavour shake is one you wish was available with every meal.

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