The Ides of March
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, George Clooney, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, Jennifer Ehle
Part of: Viennale
Stephen (Ryan Gosling) is one of the PR guys for Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) who is running for president. Even though Stephen is young, he is rather experienced and his career is definitely on the rise, while at the same time he managed to retain some idealism. He honestly believes in Mike. Mike’s campaign manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the experienced, jaded counterpoint to his idealism. But even though they make a very good team, things in politics are never easy and only get trickier.
I was a bit worried since I’m usually quickly bored by these politics plots. I’m just not that interested. But the cast is an absolute dream come true, and Clooney really is a very talented director, so I still had hope. And my hopes were completely justified. It’s a brilliant film.
[That poster kinda freaks me out.]
The movie really wasn’t boring, not even for a single moment. Even for somebody like me who doesn’t much care for these kinds of stories. But since the script is excellent (the cast could have had a worse script and would have still been worth seeing) and George Clooney has an excellent sense for pacing, there’s never any danger of boredom.
And I know that you’re probably sick of me drooling about Ryan Gosling already, but he really can do aynthing. In this case, he plays a character that you like so much that you want him to lose, since winning would mean the corruption of his idealism and, ultimately, character. That’s a pretty hard act to pull off, but Gosling does so with absolute ease.
But Ryan Gosling isn’t the only great actor in this film. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti are great with their respective smackdowns. With every bit more of Evan Rachel Wood I get to see, I like her more and it’s always nice to see Max Minghella. (I expect future goodness from both of them.)
The only thing that could have been better was the pretty blatant lack of female characters. There are only two women in the movie who get more than a cursory glance and both spell trouble for our protagonist. And neither actually gets to be in politics. Wouldn’t have hurt to have more.
Before I finish this post, I have to mention the wonderful soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat. Because it’s great, as pretty much everything Desplat does.
Summarising: Definite Oscar-bait, and very worthy.