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Fast Food Nation (2006)

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An ensemble piece examining the health risks involved in the fast food industry and its environmental and social consequences as well.

Director:

Richard Linklater
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wilmer Valderrama ... Raul
Catalina Sandino Moreno ... Sylvia
Ana Claudia Talancón ... Coco
Juan Carlos Serrán Juan Carlos Serrán ... Esteban (as Juan Carlos Serran)
Armando Hernández Armando Hernández ... Roberto (as Armando Hernandez)
Greg Kinnear ... Don Anderson
Frank Ertl ... Jack
Michael D. Conway ... Phil (as Michael Conway)
Mitch Baker ... Dave
Ellar Coltrane ... Jay Anderson (as Ellar Salmon)
Dakota Edwards Dakota Edwards ... Stevie Anderson
Dana Wheeler-Nicholson ... Debi Anderson
Luis Guzmán ... Benny (as Luis Guzman)
Bobby Cannavale ... Mike
Francisco Rosales Francisco Rosales ... Jorge
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Storyline

Don Anderson is the Mickey's food restaurant chain's Marketing Director. He is the inventor of the "Big One" the hamburger best seller of Mickey's. An independent research reports the presence of cow's feces in the Big One. So Don is sent to Cody, Colorado, to verify if the slaughterhouse, main supplier of Mickey's, is efficient as it appears and the production process is regular. During his investigations he discovers the horrible truth behind a simple hamburger; the reality is not like we think it is. Don discovers what the mass production system involves, from the temp workers like Amber, to the exploitation of Mexican irregular immigrants. It is not only the meat that is crushed in the mincing machine, but all our society. Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth Is Hard To Swallow See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, strong sexuality, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 May 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Coyote See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$410,804, 19 November 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,004,059, 28 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Dano and Bruce Willis were both in Looper (2012). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Amber and her friend are driving and talking about going to a college party, an HEB grocery sign is clearly visible in the background. This grocery is only located in Texas, so therefore the girls in Colorado wouldn't be driving by it. See more »

Quotes

Don Anderson: [Rudy lets him in through a barbwire fence] You should get a clicker.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 2nd set of end credits scroll from top to bottom in front of a conveyor belt with pre-processed hamburgers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Howard Stern on Demand: Wilmer Valderrama (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Papa Continuar-Sussie 4 Mix
Written by Sara Valenzuela
Performed by Sara Valenzuela
Courtesy of Nacional Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Linklater gem
23 October 2006 | by paulmartin-2See all my reviews

Richard Linklater has made a niche for himself with a diverse range of highly original, intelligent and interesting films that are largely dialogue driven. Some are idiosyncratic variations of popular genres like Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Waking Life was cutting edge and in a genre of its own while School of Rock was a mainstream hit in the teenage comedy genre.

In a sense, Linklater is like Michael Winterbottom. They have very different styles in film-making, but both tackle vastly different projects from one film to the next, creating impressive bodies of work. Any Linklater film is going to be anticipated by fans of his work, and Fast Food Nation does not disappoint.

Based on Eric Schlosser's non-fiction book of the same name, the film is a fictionalisation co-written by Schlosser and Linklater. The structure of the film is unconventional. It is complex, depicting a number of social, economic and human issues with much compassion. Though the characters' paths cross (or come close to it) at different stages, the film is not exactly an ensemble piece. The different stories don't join up in a contrived manner we often see in this genre. Sections are pieced together with a great line up of actors, such as Patricia Arquette, Bruce Willis, Ethan Hawke and Kris Kristofferson, each of whose characters are interesting enough to carry the film alone.

The truth behind the burgers we eat is revealed through Mickey's Burgers Marketing Manager Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear) as he attempts to discover the source of faecal contamination of the burgers. Amber (Ashley Johnson) is the conscience of the film. As she discovers the ethics in producing the burgers she smilingly dispenses to the public, we share in her transformation.

Catalina Sandino Moreno was terrific as the Colombian drug mule in Maria Full of Grace and again shines in this film as the desperate and indignant Mexican illegal worker. Paul Dano's role as a Mickey's worker is small but much more interesting than his performance in the mediocre Little Miss Sunshine. Though the story is American, there's relevance to Australia with the proliferation of fast food chains, the new IR laws, and cheap imported labour.

The film is largely character-driven but be warned that there are some gruesome scenes towards the end – scenes that should and need to be seen. The film is almost a companion piece to Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me. Whereas Super Size Me was an entertaining documentary, it wasn't as hard-hitting as this fictionalised semi-satirical look behind the scenes. Has anyone else noticed that McDonalds is blitzing us with marketing, just as they did in the lead up to Super Size Me? Fast food companies are afraid of this film, and should be. It is well worth seeing.


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