An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.
Writers: George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov (Screenplay)
Director: George Clooney
Stars: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood
Runtime: 101 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
Every now and then as I am anxiously awaiting my feature presentation, a preview comes on for a film that makes me so excited that I somewhat lose interest in the movie that I am seeing that night. This is how I felt about The Ides of March the first time I saw the preview. I loved everything about it, the star power that the movie has, the fact that it is a new political thriller and that it was written and directed by one of the best of this time. When I sat in the theater for this one, a preview surely wasn’t going to steal my attention. I brought my realistic expectations to it, but I was hoping real winner!
Ides of March definitely was an enjoyable movie, it wasn’t as much as a thriller as I was expecting, and overall wasn’t as great as I was hoping, but was still a very entertaining and well done film. The movie really boils down to a being character drama, with the characters using each other as if they are all pawns, or queens, on a chess board in order to gain the competitive advantage over each other. It makes for some really great moments, performed by amazing actors.
Ryan Gosling plays young, brilliant and on the rise Stephen Meyers, the campaign publicity leader for Governor Mike Morris’ (played by George Clooney) presidential campaign. A young and sexy intern (Even Rachel Wood) provides some great twists in the storyline, as well as eye candy. Also on the staff is the veteran Campaign Director Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who holds onto his morals despite the years he has put in on the corrupted campaign trail.
Meyer’s character arch, going from optimistic to practically jaded, is the most interesting transformation to watch throughout the movie. We experience incident after incident along with him the corrupt nature of the campaign trail throughout the film. He is put into situations that defiantly are not in the job description, but is forced to handle them, and make the most out of him.
Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) who is the campaign director for the opponent has as many years as his counterpart Zara (Hoffman) but is more damaged by the despair of the job and will do anything to win. He flatters the young and on the rise campaign star by showing interest in his talents but always putting himself and his needs first.
There are amazing scenes with Gosling and Hoffman, Gosling and Clooney, Clooney and Hoffman, and Gosling and Giamatti. The dialogue really packs a punch and is delivered by extremely talented actors.
There is one aspect of the film that I didn’t care for so much; it’s the part about Gorge Clooney movies that I kind of love to hate. I say that because I like him as an actor and a director, his writing has always been enjoyable as well. He is just so damn charming sometimes though. It really makes you want to slap him across his face. He defiantly carried the charismatic allure in this movie as was expected, but the fact that you could see his charm through his writing coming off on Gosling, and Wood’s character personality’s was often annoying and too much. I think we love going to the movies and seeing extraordinary, great looking, charming people, that is what makes the escape of the movies so great, and I would never judge this great movie on that too much, but it got obnoxious at moments. I understand you are all great and beautiful movie stars playing people with cool jobs, but take it down a notch before the audience gags up there jujy fruits!
Very Sharp Movie, that is not quite the political “Thriller” that was expected.