If a movie about the founding of McDonald’s doesn't pique your interest or, worse, triggers an eye roll, then upcoming film The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, will change your mind. It has nothing to do with burgers or fries, and McDonald's itself has no involvement with the film. Instead, The Founder is a gripping story that reveals the dark origins of the fast-food giant and will leave you in disbelief. It’s also a story about the American dream, the power of greed and the immense influence of symbolism.
Both ruthless and brilliant, Ray Kroc (Keaton) is a captivating antihero. He transforms on-screen from a sympathetic, unsuccessful middle-aged salesman to a cutthroat, unforgiving businessman who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He’s mesmerized when he witnesses the “symphony of efficiency” in the first McDonald’s location he discovers, and his vision for the future of the company is enthralling.
“McDonald’s can be the new American church,” Kroc says. “And it ain’t just open on Sundays.”
His vision quickly spirals into something much more sinister when he realizes how to take total control of a company that didn’t belong to him, thanks to the guidance of lawyer Harry Sonneborn, played by B. J. Novak.
“You’re not in the burger business. You’re in the real estate business,” Sonneborn says.
The rest, as they say, is history. Or, as Kroc says in the film, “Business is war.”
McDonald’s has not yet commented on The Founder. The movie was set to come out on August 5, but representatives from the film’s production company tell us the release date has been delayed. According to Deadline, the film will get a limited release on December 16 and wide release on January 20, 2017.
When the The Founder finally does come out, run—don’t walk—to see Keaton’s riveting performance and the roots of a company that, for better or worse, has deeply affected the whole country and, indeed, the whole world.
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