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The Founder [2016] is based on a true story and stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, the sleazy salesman and founder of the global fast food chain McDonald's. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch are the small town McDonald brothers and the supporting cast includes appearances from B.J. Novak, Laura Dern, and Linda Cardellini

McDonald's is everywhere. You can find the golden arches in every city in the world and the film shows the origins of the men behind the name - the brothers McDonald who created the speed system that revolutionized the burger industry. The brothers inspired the fast food idea that catapulted McDonald's into the billion-dollar corporation it is today.

Nick Offerman saves this movie, taking a break from his usual poker face comedic style (like Ron Swanston from Parks and Recreation), his performance as the forthright and world wary Dick McDonald is realistic and refreshing. John Carroll Lynch is a complete contrast to the likable brother Mac, whose constant positivity brings a childlike naivety to the dog eat dog world of business.

Constant rejection fuels the desperation of Kroc’s character and although he is the quintessential sleazy salesman with a well-rehearsed pitch, you do empathize for the average workingman trying to make ends meet. Michael Keaton, while an established actor who immerses himself in the role, is a little too much like another Jordan Belfort and you can clearly draw comparisons to The Wolf of Wall Street - which sells the same story of success through assertiveness, confidence, and persistence.

The score is jarring, which is not unexpected from Carter Burwell whose work on Fargo, True Grit and In Bruges which all lean towards the grittier side of human nature. The disjointed piano notes and sudden silences fit well with the story arc and the bittersweet nature of the staggering success that is the McDonald's franchise.

The Founder centers on the theme that, to have a successful business, all you require is a great idea and persistence.

The Founder
3.5Overall Score
Reader Rating 1 Vote

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