The Ides of March Review

Director:
George Clooney
Cast:
Ryan Gosling
George Clooney
Philip Symour Hoffman
Paul Giamatti
Marisa Tomei
Evan Rachel Wood
Rated: R

The candidate that Clooney plays in this film is very similar to another one that ran a few years back.

The Ides of March follows a young man named Stephen Myers (Gosling), working on the campaign trail for presidential hopeful Governor Morris (Clooney). The campaign season is right in the middle of a heated Democratic primary with both candidates setting their sites on Ohio to deliver the knockout.

With only a few weeks from the Ohio primary, Stephen is contacted by the campaign manager from their opponent, Tom Duffy (Giamatti). Duffy wants Stephen on his campaign, but Stephen refuses. Despite this, the meeting between the two causes problems. Add on top of that the fact that Stephen learns of a mistake the governor made which could put his campaign into disaster.

The story told in this film is done exceptionally well, building more and more momentum as it goes. At first it seems like a fairly basic view of how wild campaign organization can get, however once plot details begin to unfold, the pace picks up and the audience finds out just how the dirty the insides of politics can get.

People being double crossed and back stabbed starts to happen and it makes for a great, engaging political drama. As an added plus, this is a movie where it’s hard to tell what the resolution will be and how the protagonist will get out of the situation he’s in.

Add to this the fantastic performances from the cast who are all on their A game.

Marisa Tomei is good in the role of a reporter from the Times who wants to do anything to get a scoop. But the best acting is done by the main four, Clooney, Hoffman, Giamatti and of course Gosling.

Every time a pair of these actors have a conversation with each other the intensity reaches a high level and it put me on the edge of my seat through out the film. Plus the dialogue written for them and the direction by Clooney is very smart and executed by all of the actors in the movie.

This has really been Gosling’s year, with great performances in “Crazy, Stupid Love,” “Drive” and now this film, he’s solidifying his spot as an Oscar contender every year in the future.

The Ides of March isn’t absolutely perfect but it comes close and is one of my favorites of the year so far, it gets a very high 4 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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