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Founder, The


Stars: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, B J Novak

Director: John Lee Hancock

McDonald's founder Ray Kroc (Keaton) hardly emerges covered in glory from this penetrating, if overlong look at the formation of the famous fast food empire.

Driving down to San Bernardino and leaving his long-suffering wife (Dern) behind, salesman Kroc is fascinated by the McDonald brothers (Offerman, Lynch) and their operation: food organised with clockwork precision and served a the window within 30 seconds. Kroc smells something besides the burgers - an outstanding franchise opportunity.

Keaton's hard-driving performance helps you admire his achievements, but, in building on success, he grinds the McDonald brothers into the dust. Anyone who stands in his way, from the McDonalds to his wife, is dumped. No, the 'founder' does come out of this too well.

Director Hancock struggles a bit to extend all this to a two-hour feature, but the acting is top-notch, with notable support from Offerman as the 'brains' of the brothers, and a charming little interlude when Keaton and Cardellini sing Pennies from Heaven together at the piano. Well, if Stone and Gosling can do it...

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by MPI.
112 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 10 Jun 2017

DVD review