Assistant Features Editor
With a well-rounded cast “The Ides of March” makes for an enjoyable experience.
The film, which stars a plethora of accredited actors, takes place during the Ohio primary.
George Clooney plays Gov. Mike Morris who is fighting for the Democratic nomination.
Both Ryan Gosling and Phillip Seymour Hoffman play characters with a significant role in Morris’ campaign.
Gosling plays Stephen Meyers, the press secretary to Morris’ campaign while Hoffman is Paul Zara, his campaign manager.
While the film does not go into any depth with the Republican side of the election, it is sure to go in depth with the other candidate of the Democratic party.
Michael Mantell stars in the film as Sen. Pullman, Morris’ opponent in the Democratic primary.
Paul Giamatti plays Tom Duffy, Pullman’s campaign manager, who is willing to do anything and everything to bring down Morris’ campaign and his team.
Toward the beginning of the movie, Meyers seems to be on top of his game. He knows what to do and what to say to get ahead of the game. It is made out that he is the best there is in the business.
At first, you learn that Meyers takes a meeting with Duffy in the interest of joining Pullman’s campaign.
The film also stars Evan Rachel Wood as an intern named Molly Stearns on Morris’ campaign who becomes a little bit too involved with her superiors.
Stearns finds herself in trouble and turns to Meyers for help.
Marisa Tomei has a small role in the film as Ida Horowicz, a journalist and a friend of Meyers, who she gets her inside scoop about the campaign trail later turning on him to get the scoop she needs.
Clooney’s role was significant in this film in more ways than one. He not only starred in the movie but also directed it and was one of the co-writers of the script.
The film is based on the play, “Farragut North” written by Beau Willimon, who aided Clooney along with Grant Heslov in writing the script for the movie.
While this film is a refreshing change from many of the films out in theaters today, it is not so much different from other commonly known political based films released in previous years such as the policial drama, “Nixon.”
All have a common message that have been seen in the past. Politics are part of a harsh world and this film is about the struggles that politicians face.
Considering the two leads of the movie, Clooney, who has starred in critically acclaimed films such as “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Good Night and Good Luck” and Gosling who has had several hits this past year including “Drive” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” it is safe to say for both actors that this was not their best piece of work.
While the movie is entertaining and is able to hold the viewer’s interest, it fell short of what it had the potential of being.
The story line seemed dull and it was as if it just skimmed the surface of how much depth the story could have had.
While the cast was nothing short of remarkable, Clooney as the director didn’t use these versatile actors to his full advantage.
Gosling alone has had such a variety of roles ranging from his character Lars Lindstrom in “Lars and the Real Girl,” who falls in love with a blow up doll but managed to do it in a charming manner to his role as drug addict high school teacher, Dan Dunne in “Half Nelson.”
Don’t even get me started on Paul Giamatti who has won and been nominated for more awards than I can count on my two hands, not to mention the rest of this phenomenal cast.
When there is such a versatile cast available at your fingertips why not use them to their full advantage?
Final verdict? I would give the film two stars. It’s not worth the buy but it is definitely worth the rent. If you’re a fan of politics, Clooney or Gosling, this is your film to pick up at the video store this weekend.