|‘The Founder,’ Like Ray Kroc, Feasts on McDonald’s Imagery
By: New York Times
“Crosses. Flags. … Arches.”
Those words are spoken by Ray Kroc, or rather Michael Keaton, in “The Founder,” a film about the McDonald’s Corporation, as he envisions the stature the soon-to-be ubiquitous emblem would attain for the fast-food chain in a nation that in 1954 already had steeples and flagpoles aplenty.
“McDonald’s can be the new American church,” says Mr. Keaton’s Kroc, as he begs to join the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald in transforming their small California company into much more than a string of burger joints.
Twists that soon left Kroc in control of the McDonald’s name and its corporate identity make up the plot of a movie that both loves and loathes its hero, an archetypal postwar businessman. And the film’s portrayal of Kroc comes with a notable irony: Unauthorized by the company, “The Founder” uses McDonald’s zealously guarded iconography to provide a bold visual tour through Kroc’s supposed hijacking of those same, mostly trademarked, images.
“If it’s a biopic of anything, it’s of the McDonald’s brand and restaurants rather than Ray,” said John Lee Hancock, who directed “The Founder,” set for release in the United States on Aug. 5 by the Weinstein Company.
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