Some have probably seen but everyone should see it. Thank you for Smoking is one of those fantastic movies that flew well too far under the radar. With stars like Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Adam Brody, Sam Elliott, Katie Holmes, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, and Robert Duvall, this was the movie that gave Jason Reitman (director) his career. This was Reitmans first movie before Juno and the Much acclaimed Up in the Air. It stars Eckhart as Nick Naylor, A lobbyist on the pro side of the tobacco companies who is so good at his job, he could convince large audiences that he is on the correct side of the morality line.
Everything goes smoothly at first. Nick balances a life that includes defending everyones right to smoke including his and remaining someone his 12 year old son can look up to. The movie holds a lot of charm in the beginnig because the movie is very politically incorrect, but it’s very hard to do that these days and we should cherish anyone and anything that gets away with it. What I find ver charming is that Nick is part of a group known as M.O.D, also known as Merchants of death. Together they protect their right to smoke, own a gun, and drink alcohol. What’s great is that as a viewer, you find yourself rooting for theses charfacters to succeed.
The cast is brilliantly put together. On the opposite side comes Vermont Senator Finisterre (William H. Macy) who is willing to do everything in his power to outlaw smoking and would probably make it illegal if he had the power to do so. Nick who has some very powerful people on his side including the Boss (Robert Duvall) use every trick in the book to convince the Senators and the general public that smoking is not a bad thing. He even goes so far as to try and pay money to a big movie exec to have a big movie star smoke in a Hollywood movie. Nick is smooth, cool, and downright cocky about his abilities until it all starts to unravel. After sleeping with the wrong reporter, having an attempt made on his life, and meeting a former employee who’s life has been ruined from smoking and is being paid to forget about it, Nicks life starts to fall apart. His son seems to get farther away and the Tobacco company seems to be losing public favor which could soon leave Nick with nowhere to turn.
The movie is brilliantly acted, and the script is as smart as I have ever seen. There is some truth to it and it will probably make you think about what might really be going on with the Tobacoo comapnies in the real world. The jokes come hard and heavy at a point where you laugh, but you’ll probably cry just a little bit (not literally). Who’s side will you choose?
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