Unless Oscars contenders get expanded, it is very uncommon for great movies to pop up in January, and “The Founder” indicates that 2017 could be a great year for movies.
I hate McDonald’s, but “I’m Loving” this movie for its narrative about how the franchise got expanded in the 1950s, while its owners and founder have contract disputes. Michael Keaton explodes as Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer salesman, who fails to sell his machines to local fast food joints, but receives a call from a small time burger joint in California. That small joint is known as “McDonald’s,” and much to his surprise, his meal is done in 30 seconds or less, just as its owners Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac (John Carroll Lynch) McDonald intended.
Ray is so impressed by these two innovating geniuses, he decides to franchise their business. Dick is more negative than Mac, they make him sign a contract, and Ray opens up a few restaurants. Of course, much to Dick’s dismay, he has a lot of new ideas. One for example, thanks to Joan (Linda Cardellini) and Rollie Smith (Patrick Wilson), is shake blend, which can save a lot on ice cream for milkshakes. Another deals with real estate businesses, which Dick believes was not part of the deal. And finally, the dispute involves who gets the McDonald’s name.
I would love to travel back in time to find out what these burgers and fries tasted like before they added all that crap in them. These small time business and food look more delicious and convincing than the ones we have today. I can imagine In & Out Burger is working on the same deal, and I hope it comes to New Jersey, because that place is more delicious and dedicated than McDonald’s is. But I’m getting a bit off topic here.
Director John Lee Hancock, the man behind “The Blind Side” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” has outdone himself with “The Founder.” He gives us sharp performances from Keaton, Offerman, and Lynch, a struggle over the business’s contract issues, and a taste of the American dream. Again, I hate McDonald’s, but I love this movie.