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Jan 14, 2012

Review: The Ides of March (2011)

                  Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, Jennifer Ehle, Gregory Itzin and Michael Mantell.

Directed By:
                         George Clooney.

                This political thriller drama may not be the strongest point in the George Clooney's directorial history but it is worth appreciating. I really liked the whole movie and i sat through it without any problems, i had a good time. So this movie is all about how dirty or bad politics can be, you can't really fully trust someone in this game even though you idolize someone or have your utmost trust on them. There are dark and evil sides to everyone and that can really trouble your life as well. Ryan Gosling plays Stephen Myers who is a thirty something campaign manager of Governor Mike Morris played by George Clooney who is running for presidential campaign and has the very best chance to get nominated. Myers believes firmly in Mike Morris, his ideas and the fact that he is the one who can bring that change and no one else. He is later on caught in a unusual situation where he becomes the victim of the politics within politics when he gets call from a rival, he visits him and things get ugly after that. He is being told to join their campaign that Morris is not who he think he is, he hides this which later results in his own downfall.

                This movie doesn't necessarily represents the current state of politics but it really feels like a Shakespearen tale of Julieus Cesar of something, betrayal is followed by betrayal where the bad ones makes the good ones uglier. This movie moves in a way that later turns very dramatic, kind of like a thriller with a pace so perfect. In the beginning it just looks and feels like another political drama but later on it comes off outstanding. This is a movie in which everything seems perfect, every character looks very pure and without any flaws or dark sides but suddenly you start questioning everyone and later on, every single character starts crumbling down. The world of Meyers is shaken up when he finds out a secret about the intern he is dating, Molly played by Evan Rachel Wood and Morris that he thinks of using against him in order to secure his place in the campaign, he blackmails Morris but that doesn't help. But instead it is backfired on him. This movie perfectly shows what happens behind the curtains, how these campaign goes on behind the scene stuff and all the forces involved in the politics within politics and its big. George Clooney really is a multi tasker and someone who is good at it. I have been quite impressed by him, his abilities and his talent. He crafted one of the best modern day politics movies as far as i can remember which again, doesn't quite feel like one, the movie is timeless and shows the basic human psych and how the minds works and how far people go to achieve somethings.

                The Ides Of March has one of the best ensembles this year and every actor did a good job that boosted the appeal of the movie. George Clooney did a smart decision to do the Mike Morris character himself. He has the appeal and charisma of a leader and a politician and was very believable in the character and did a good job throughout the movie. I will say that this is Ryan Gosling's second best performance of 2011 after Drive. He does benefit from some more dialogue and less staring here even though it lacks the whole appeal of his previous performance. He is a very calm, confident and peaceful character who might as well feel like living in a fairytale world but not the reality since he believes everything around him is good. Later on when things crumble around him, it doesn't quite feels good or looks good in the final acts. That might be a slight flaw as they didn't quite handled that aspect of the movie very well. But Gosling performed really good here too even though Clooney steals the show. I have to say that both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti did a fantastic job as the supporting characters that are the head campaign managers of their specific parties and perfect rivals. Outstanding performances by both of them specially Hoffman who brings out one of his best performance in this movie, the way he talks with Meyers is deep where you suspect some underlying darkness which later proves that he himself is not a good one too. Evan Rachel Wood yet again gave a excellent performance in the limited time she is on the screen, she really has been catching my attention lately. Movie also stars Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright and Max Minghella who did a nice job too.

                It has a perfect cinematography and photography and is boosted by a good score and art direction. Screenplay is well written though not perfect and with some minor flaws towards the end. The climax doesn't necessarily comes off as hitting you or something which after everything that happened should have, i believe they didn't quite wrote the final act very well also the character of Meyer needed some deep work. Still overall a enjoyable good watch movie that is well crafted and well made.

Grade: B