Thank You for Smoking (2005) [rate 4]
This movie is about as good as it could have been and the only reason it’s short of the 5/5 mark are some details. Although it may be intentional, it seems strange not to have anyone smoke in a movie about Big Tobacco and it’s (evil?) marketing techniques. If it’s intentional, I would have expected the creators of Thank You for Smoking to play a little more with the idea. The only suggestion of smoking in the entire movie is the blueish tint of the air in some locations. The main character smokes, but this only becomes clear because of him grabbing a pack of cigs that happens to be empty when he does (in anotherwise great scene).
Also, TYfS doesn’t have the best story arc and as a result, it sort of fizzles at the end, even though you’re left with the feeling of just having seen a very good movie. The acting, the casting, the cinematography, locations, it’s all there but it’s great from the get-go and it just maintains the same level all the way through, leaving you you feeling a little lost at the end.
You have to give it credit for mixing the messages about smoking though, showing both the cool and attraction of smoking and the evil involved in its marketing. It fails to offset the suffering of smoking-related illness to the joys of smoking, because of the complete lack of actual smoking in the movie. But ultimately the movie isn’t about smoking, but has the broader topic of freedom of choice.