McDonald’s has been an American institution for so long that people just take it for granted. It’s a part of the fabric of this country, like baseball, apple pie, and sitcoms with laugh tracks. But McDonald’s wasn’t always this ubiquitous. Someone had to make a massive success. And that someone was Ray Kroc.

The Founder tells his story. He’s played by Michael Keaton, still revving his career comeback after anchoring back-to-back Best Picture winners Birdman and Spotlight. In the film, Kroc buys into the business of McDonald’s actual founders, Dick and Mac McDonald (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch). From there a power struggle ensues, with Kroc battling with the brothers for control of their chain and their innovative fast food technology.

And that’s what makes this biopic seem more interesting than your usual story of a great man’s rise and fall. It doesn’t look like The Founder sugarcoats Kroc’s story, or turns him into a simplistic, one-dimensional genius. It’s also intriguing that the film was written by Robert Siegel, who wrote The Wrestler and directed and wrote Big Fan for Patton Oswalt. He’s got a strong eye for character drama and a sharp ear for dialogue. I’m definitely interested in reading his version of McDonald’s origin. (The movie’s directed by John Lee Hancock, who previously made The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks.)

Plus, The Founder is another showcase for Keaton, who’s still on this terrific mid-career roll. I’m not sure about that thick Midwestern accent he’s using as Kroc, but I love the idea of Keaton as this master manipulator businessman, pulling all the strings and drinking all the milkshakes (quite literally in this case). The Founder opens in theaters on August 5.

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