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The Ides of March

A 2011 movie directed by George Clooney.

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It's not personal. It's just politics.

  • Oct 11, 2011
Rating:
+4
Mao Tse Tung said: Politics is war without bloodshed. War is politics with bloodshed. Ides of March proves the truth of this.

In George Clooney's more recent movies, he has become an acting chameleon moving with the deftness and surefootedness of a mountain goat, winning five Academy Award nominations and one Oscar for Syriana.

Up in the Air I considered good though overhyped, the thriller The American, brilliant but underhyped. A personal favorite. I particularly loved his collaborations with the Coen Brothers, the onscreen chemistry with Catherine Zeta Jones in Intolerable Cruelty, and the epic reimagining O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

Ryan Gosling, I consider to be perhaps the greatest actor on the planet. Nearly every movie performance he has given has been nominated for some acting award, even though many of the movies were not mainstream. Have you heard of Half Nelson, for which he got Oscar nominated? He starred in Crazy, Stupid, Love also starring Marisa Tomei, earlier this year, and did an amazing job.

Ides of March may be described as a political thriller, and if you're like me it will certainly grip you and have you on the edge of your seat at times, with its twists and turns.

Ryan Gosling plays a campaign assistant manager, who works for Paul played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and both work for Governor Morris, played by George Clooney, a man with eyes on the presidency. Paul Giamatti plays a veteran campaign manager for a rival politician. Evan Rachel Wood plays a young intern who gets sucked into the intrigues, and Marisa Tomei plays a hardscrabbling reporter always looking for dirt to dish. In fairness, though her methods may be dubious, she is seeking the truth.

Ides of March, and its characters portray every shade of dark, and you may wonder how something as innocuous as agreeing to meet a rival for a drink in a bar can become such a potential disaster, and how going on a date with an intern when you're single can lead to such complications. Certainly Stephen Myers (Gosling)is left to wonder how minor personal actions can have such potentially dire personal political consequences.

I have to say the story is brilliantly constructed and told, and as you might expect with a political movie, it contains tons of soundbites. We all know that politics can be quite dirty with lowdown tricks and negative campaigning, but I don't think you have seen anything quite like this except in real politics. One persons pain becomes another persons political gain.

I loved the setup and payoff of the opening and closing scenes. As the movie opens Gosling cynically delivers soundbites to camera. The movie closes with soundbites to camera.

Early in the movie he has passion for his work, and says he wouldn't do it if he does not have faith in the candidate. Will he stay true to this when his values are challenged?

I loved the confrontations between Gosling and Hoffman, Giamatti, Tomei, and Clooney in different scenes.

I loved the sexual tension in the early scenes between him and Evan Rachel Wood.

I loved the the contrast in this character who in some way cares, offering an intern in trouble a ride to and from a place, even helping her out of his own pocket, and then making the hardscrabbling choices he makes, as the Darth road beckons, and romantic ideals can disappear faster than a political friendship.

While the movie does not scream surefire Oscar winner it certainly yells, and I think Gosling will get nominated perhaps even win, particularly after being so cruelly overlooked last year for his brilliant turn in Blue Valentine. George Clooney wears three hats as actor, director, and cowriter, and who better to play a smooth politician. Hoffman and Giamatti as usual are brilliant. Either or both could be nominated. In fact you will see few movies with such a strong ensemble this year, with three Oscar winners on board.
It's not personal. It's just politics. It's not personal. It's just politics.

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September 24, 2012
Interesting perspectives!
 
October 12, 2011
This one is on my list to check out, I'm glad that it didn't disappoint! I'm a big fan of political thrillers so this sounds right up my alley. Thanks for sharing, great review :)
October 14, 2011
Thank you, and I think you'll love it.
 
October 11, 2011
Thanks for your review. I look forward to seeing this one in the very near future.
October 11, 2011
I think you will enjoy it.
 
October 11, 2011
I am not sure if I'll get the chance to see this now, since I went to see the mediocre "Real Steel" instead and I may have to see something else this weekend. I have added this to my 'must-see list'. Thanks for the review!
October 11, 2011
I think you will find this one engaging. I decided to give Real Steel a miss, although it seems to be popular, I'm not so sure about the robots.
 
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More The Ides of March reviews
review by . February 23, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****    The problem at the core of "The Ides of March" is that George Clooney - serving as writer, director, and star - seems to believe that he's exposing truth and preaching to a whole new generation of politically active people. An avid Democrat himself; I'm surprisingly impressed by Clooney's ability to hold back on the Republican-bashing in his latest feature; whilst taking dead aim at the world of politics as a whole instead. "The Ides of March" is an anti-political …
review by . September 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Strong and Familiar Strides
THE IDES OF MARCH Written by George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon Directed by George Clooney Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood   Stephen Myers: Nothing bad happens when you’re doing the right thing. Governor Mike Morris: Is that your personal theory because I can poke holes in it.   George Clooney has been mulling making THE IDES OF MARCH for a few years now. When he first wanted to make it in 2008, he decided to …
review by . October 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         George Clooney – the co-writer, co-producer, and director of The Ides of March – cast himself in a supporting role as a Pennsylvania governor turned Democratic presidential candidate. As self-congratulatory as you may find this, I’ve actually seen the movie, and believe you me, no one else could have played this character. In politics, it’s not just about a candidate’s party platform; it’s also about charm and …
review by . November 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Unpleasant political drama
A presidential candidate (George Clooney), his top aide (Ryan Gosling), and a young female staffer (Evan Rachel Wood) are the focus of this depressing political drama. Though utterly charming, the candidate is shown to have feet of clay, involved in a dangerous triangle with the other two.      On the Ides of March, Julius Caesar was assassinated; in this Ides of March, we see the death of political idealism. This is most definitely not a fun date movie or a chick flick; it exposes …
Quick Tip by . October 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Anyone looking for a little further insight into THE IDES OF MARCH, should check out my interview with actor, Max Minghella. In case you aren't sure who that is, he is in this movie, was in The Social Network and is also Anthony Minghella's son.    http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2011/1...iews-max-minghella.html    Enjoy!
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Larry Power ()
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Member Since: May 29, 2010
Last Login: Sep 10, 2013 07:54 PM UTC
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