Friday, October 7, 2011

The Ides of March

Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti

Directed by George Clooney

Release Date: October 7th, 2011

 Beneath the handshaking and campaign day promises there is more betrayal and deception than most people know about political campaigns, particularly in America. Director George Clooney adapts the play Farragut North into a political thriller about a political strategist who has to struggle through moral grays and shady decisions.

Clooney does a masterful job of creating tension with how the characters deal with how they undermine each other, and how often such ideals as trust and dedication to one's political beliefs. In fact, I think this is the type of film that should be shown in a politics class for students to see that politics is not cut and dry, that people try to destroy each other simply because they can.

Ryan Gosling does an impressive job of making Stephen Myers into an idealistic and likeable protagonist, someone who understands the business of politics but has yet to be sullied by mudslinging or empty promises. George Clooney does a competent job of playing the candidate Mike Morris, a politican who's all smiles for the press, but has a darker side. Clooney definitely looks the part of a politician, but I feel that his part may have been better served as a character in the background, someone the audience sees from time to time while the focus is on Myers and the other campaign workers. Hoffman and Giamatti play senior advisers, both of them making powerful monologues and getting some fantastic performances opposite Gosling.

Rating: * * * * of 5

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