Millions of folks eat at McDonald’s but few of them take the time to stop and think about how the entire vast international fast food empire originally got started. Think about it: Once upon a time there was just one McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, and today there are over 36,000, including one in the Vatican.
A new movie from The Weinstein Company and Blind Side director John Lee Hancock wants to tell us the story of how a guy named Ray Kroc teamed up with the McDonald brothers to take their chain of Southern California burger joints national, revolutionizing fast food in the process. The Founder stars Academy-Award nominee Michael Keaton as the titular fast food mogul, and Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch as the McDonald brothers.
The newly-released trailer for The Founder (the last one dropped in early December) lays out what the movie is about pretty succinctly. We see Michael Keaton’s Ray Kroc character getting the inspiration to turn McDonald’s into a national chain, and then carrying out his plan with a lot of intensity, talking to the camera and hanging up on Nick Offerman.
The Weinstein Company is hoping that The Founder can scare up another Oscar nomination for Michael Keaton, who was previously nominated for his role in Birdman. So far there hasn’t been a ton of Oscar buzz around The Founder so it doesn’t look like that nomination is going to materialize. Keaton has however been nominated for Best Actor by the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards.
There’s no doubt the tale of Ray Kroc and McDonald’s is one of those all-American success stories that make for great drama, but it remains to be seen if The Founder and its particular take on this story will catch on with audiences. The best selling-point for the movie is probably the presence of Michael Keaton who continues to ride the wave of success that began with his Oscar-nominated performance in Birdman and continued through his strong work in Best Picture Oscar-winner Spotlight (there’s no reason for him to regret passing on Batman Forever all those years ago, even though people still like to ask him about it). It’s also always nice to see Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch, two of the more enjoyable supporting performers around. Lynch is having a particularly strong run between this movie and his performance as LBJ in Jackie.
The lack of Oscar-buzz for The Founder could be concerning, especially when you consider all the big-time talent involved with it, but reviews for the movie generally have been good and lots of folks are looking forward to seeing it. The Weinstein Company is hoping The Founder can be another successful business procedural, like 2015’s hit The Big Short.
Source: The Weinstein Company