Thank You for Smoking

dir. Jason Reitman

Series - Retrospective

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A smooth-talking political lobbyist for Big Tobacco (Aaron Eckhart) finds himself suffering a crisis of conscience in Jason Reitman's provocative satire.

"The message Hollywood needs to send out is 'Smoking is Cool!'" — Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart)

Smooth-talking Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) is Big Tobacco's chief political lobbyist and a charter member of the Merchants of Death, a trio of Capitol Hill vultures who meet regularly in a bar to debate which of their respective portfolios — tobacco, alcohol, or firearms — is responsible for more deaths in any given year. Facing a legislative threat from the fervently anti-tobacco Democratic senator Ortolan Finistirre (William H. Macy), who wants to emblazon every package of cigarettes with a skull and crossbones and digitally efface every tobacco product from classic Hollywood films, Naylor heads to Los Angeles to negotiate cigarette product placement in upcoming films, bringing along his teenage son Joey (Cameron Bright), who for some reason is not convinced that his father is in the right. Featuring a sterling star turn from Eckhart and an outstanding supporting cast — including Katie Holmes, Maria Bello, J.K. Simmons, Anchorman's David Koechner, Sam Elliott and Robert Duvall — Thank You for Smoking proves that comedy runs in the family, with Ivan Reitman's son Jason making a precociously assured writing-directing debut in his adaptation of Christopher Buckley's satirical novel.