Stephen Soderbergh's The Informant! screened early today in Venice (or late yesterday? time zones confuse me) and the first couple of reviews are mild mixed-to-good reactions.
For those uninitiated, The Informant! is a corporate greed/deadpan comedy about a real-life worker (Matt Damon) who turns to the FBI to expose an agricultural companies' dirty deeds. It's being described as The Insider through the eyes of Soderbergh in his Oceans Eleven mode.
Incontention's Guy Lodge liked it, giving it a 3 star/out of 4 review, praising Matt Damon's performance and the witty banter of Scott Z. Burns' script, but ultimately is a tad underwhelmed by the claustrophobia of Soderbergh's comic-insanity and slightly calls into question the adaptation of Kirk Eichenwald's non-fiction expose into a Oceans-level comedy/drama.
Screen International's Mike Goodridge is less forgiving, calling it, "an uneven semi-comedy" that "can't quite decide its tone". Like Guy Lodge did in his positive interpretation, Goodridge calls out the film for taking the approach that it does: "For no apparent reason, Soderbergh chooses to dress The Informant! as a Peter Sellers-style sixties comedy".
It's early in the post-fest review process, so still waiting on Variety, Hollywood Reporter and others to chime in. Honestly, my curiosity is slightly more piqued after reading these two reviews, despite their non-committal tone. I was shocked to see that Soderbergh was taking this thing in a dryly comedic direction, but I'm curious to check it out.
You can watch the trailer for The Informant! here. Warner Bros. is set to release it nationwide on 09.18.09.