The Informant!

Stephen Soderberg's The Informant tells the bizarre story of corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre, in a fascinating, sad, sometimes hard-to-believe-it's-true tale. Ostensibly marketed as a comedy, the film doesn't fit the advertising as billed, only incidentally as outrageous behavior. It is funny, but you get involved with the characters who get in deeper and deeper as the whistle-blowing becomes much much more than the FBI expects.

Matt Damon nails it as Whitacre. Packing on a few pounds and a engagingly offensive moustache, Damon narrates the film honestly, albeit unreliably. His strange observances are occasionally brilliant ("Polar Bears put their hands to their nose when they lean over holes in the ice. That way the seals can't see them because they are all white and think it is okay to come up. Now what I want to know is how the Polar Bears came up with this. Do they think, "If only I could hide this black nose -- then I would be invisible!") and, ultimately revealed to be exactly what he is thinking. During a distressing dress-down in front of the FBI, the narration becomes just a precursor for Whitacre's actual words, until his own narration becomes defeated.

Scott Bakula is the counter to Whitacre, the FBI guy who believes it all, and gets caught up in the web of lies and deception. You feel for the guy, an agent trying to do the right thing, only to discover his witness is the worst choice ever.

Subtle, funny, sad, and great in that truth-is-stranger-than-fiction way, The Informant! is a damn good flick.

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