The Founder (2016)

This film tells the story of how McDonalds became to be. It focuses on the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch) working with Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) and how Kroc took McDonalds to the next level.

Director: John Lee Hancock

Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, B.J. Novak, Laura Dern

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language

Fun Fact: Michael Keaton rented two ice cream trucks for the crew after a long day of filming.

Growing up McDonalds was one of those places I remember going to when I was a kid whenever the family wanted to grab a bite to eat somewhere. At the time l didn’t know a single thing about business or how McDonalds became to be. The Founder shows us how the giant as known as McDonalds became to be. I’m surprised that it took this long to make a film about it. While Super Size Me was a documentary more on the food aspect, it never went into the history of the company.

The Founder is a very well written and informative film. Written by Robert D. Siegel, we get scenes that really shows us how Ray Kroc became the leader of McDonalds. Siegel really did his research on the project and it payed off. Director John Lee Hancock works well with material. It’s been said that he memorized the script like it were a play. The film really shows his passion for the project because Hancock works with his actors well. He focuses on the performances and the material by staying true to subject. As in some bio-pics, the main person in the subject can be villainized so to speak. In The Founder Kroc really isn’t villainized. He’s seen as a person that see’s something and envisions something bigger and better. You must give credit to Siegel and Hancock for staying true to the story and not putting personal feelings of what they might of thought into it.

Speaking of performances, the whole film is driven by Michael Keaton. He plays Kroc as the businessman that he was from starting from the bottom and working to the top. In the era where living the American Dream was the focus in life, Keaton really gets into the role and delivers the performance on the American Dream motto. Keaton was nominated for his performance and even won a Golden Globe, which he absolutely deserved. This role like many before shows Keaton’s versatility and it’s a reason why he’s one of my favorite actors. While Keaton carries the film, some of the supporting cast is just as good, even if they only have little screen time. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch have great chemistry as the McDonald brothers. It was nice to see Laura Dern in the film as well as I enjoy her acting in the films that I’ve seen her in.

Overall, The Founder is a fantastic film. Its strengths are in the direction, screenplay, and the performance of Michael Keaton. The source material is informative and you can tell that the research is well done and it doesn’t look to villainize Ray Kroc. I recommend you check it out to see an amazing performance by Michael Keaton.

Verdict: Hit


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