The Ides of March (15)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Oct 25 2011George Clooney’s fourth film as a director takes us to territory not unexpected of the man: behind the scenes of a modern American political campaign. Clooney acts too, although his role as Governor Morris, an Obama-lite politician striving to win a primary that will set him on the road to the White House, is mostly ceremonial, decorative even, but only because the story, adapted by Clooney and others from a Beau Willimon play, demands it. The real drama lies with the puppeteers: Morris’s press spokesman Stephen (Ryan Gosling) is being wooed by a rival campaign manager (Paul Giamatti), while a hungry intern (Evan Rachel Wood) is making eyes at Stephen over the photocopier.
The points made about politics by ‘The Ides of March’ are valid, if obvious: shit goes on behind the scenes and people in the game are shits. Who knew? Yet it’s good on the value of knowledge in political circles – and how that knowledge can be traded. There’s a dullness to the film’s edges that means it’s not cutting enough, and a late lunge for noir stylings is weak, even if all involved do their best to stress the horrible gulf between public ideals and private ambition.
Author: Dave Calhoun