Review: The Ides Of March (2011)

”It doesn’t matter what you thought. It matters what you did. It matters what you didn’t do”

The Ides of March is a political drama thriller film. It stars Ryan Gosling (Drive), George Clooney (Up In The Air), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War), Paul Giamatti (Sideways), Marisa Tomei (Cyrus), Jeffrey Wright (Source Code) and Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen). The film is also directed by George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck).

George Clooney goes behind the camera for the fourth time to direct The Ides of March, an adaptation ofBeau Willimon’s play Farragut North. The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, an idealistic deputy campaign manager for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), who is in a major political battle in Ohio that could be the key to winning the Democratic presidential nomination. When the opposing candidate’s campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) offers Stephen a job on his staff, Stephen neglects to inform his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Just as that omission is revealed, Stephen uncovers a dirty personal secret that could sink Morris’ political career. The Ides of March screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Whats this? Another Ryan Gosling film in 2011? HELLS YEAH! Honestly, some might be but we are certainly not bored with Gosling at the moment. I think he has been the best actor of 2011 and one of the busiest. This time he’s teaming up with George Clooney and his film, The Ides of March. This had me instantly hooked. Plus with the added bonus of Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman I was already there, I hadn’t even left the house yet!

Ryan Gosling still seems to be oozing with charm which suits nicely with his character of Stephen Myers, a junior campaign manager that is the key to Clooney’s Mike Morris’ success for election. But like recent Gosling characters we see a darker side to him due to circumstances within the film that sends him, and the campaign into potential chaos.

George Clooney also co-stars along with directing. Compared to some of his other films his character is kind of in the backseat. His portrayal of Mike Morris is understated and reserved compared to Gosling’s Myers. I feel this was a good balance and helped each character show there true colours. In terms of direction Clooney is clearly still learning and it’s decent but not as polished as his 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck.

As well as having two great leading men, The Ides of March boast great supporting cast in Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Each playing respected campaign managers for there candidates. Not huge parts in terms of how the film plays out but its always a joy to watch these two heavyweights on screen. We also have appearances from from Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright completing what is already a stellar cast for this political drama thriller.

I very much enjoyed the film. It kinda reminded me of HBO’s ReCount. I think I would of enjoyed it more though if I understood American politics and elections a bit clearer but that doesn’t really detract from the film as that’s a viewer problem. Everyone is great especially Ryan Gosling but that’s a given’ now. But the fact is The Ides of March is a worthy political drama that is directed from a confident Clooney.

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