The Ides Of March: "I'll Do Or Say Anything If I Believe In It, But I Have To Believe In The Cause"

Director: George Clooney
Writer:    George Clooney
               Grant Heslov

               Beau Willimon
Starring: George Clooney
               Ryan Gosling
               Philip Seymour Hoffman
               Paul Giamatti
               Marisa Tomei
               Jeffrey Wright
               Evan Rachel Wood
               Michael Mantell
Rating:    ****

Home Release: 20/02/2012

The fourth film to be directed by George Clooney, The Ides Of March, is a dark look at human nature, and it's many plot twists makes it one of the most entertaining films made this year. 

The films anti-hero is Stephen Meyers (Gosling),  the idealistic press secretary to a Left-wing, Pennsylvanian governor, Mike Morris (Clooney), who hopes to be President after the current election. Stephen works closely on the campaign with the likable, chain-smoking veteran Paul Zara (Hoffman). Stephen’s working his way up, and that attracts the beautiful young intern (Wood), for which power is evidently a turn on. A new form of temptation arrives in the shape of the seedy, rival campaign manager Tom Duffy (Giamatti), who offers a job to Stephen in the other Democrat candidate's team. Senator Pullman (Mantell), is a more conservative politician, and doesn't really appeal to Stephen, so he tells his boss, Paul, about the approach. Somehow news of the offer comes to the attention of a New York Times journalist (Tomei), and she revels in this new found scandal. 

Suddenly, Stephen’s future no longer looks so bright. Paul lectures him on his disloyalty and removes him from the campaign and the job. To add to this, the new job offer, which seemed so definite, fails to come to the forefront.  As everything begins to go wrong for Stephen, he wonders 'has he been a naive young man and has he been outwitted?'

Clooney and Gosling are superb at keeping their true emotions hidden behind their friendly facade and both actors manage to play their roles extremely well. They take on the politics and facade with ease, and make the film very real, and believable. Their confrontation near the end of the film is made even more realistic and hard hitting, because of the subtlety of their performances. The more flamboyant character and performance is Hoffman’s, and Giamatti’s hard-hitting, ratlike cunning means he steals nearly every scene he appears in.

The film is filled with plenty of opinions about the dirty, dark world of politics, and it’s applicable to any political party in the world.  For Clooney's fourth film, The Ides Of March is possibly one of the greatest, most intriguing films I've seen this year. If all of his films are like this, I may have to do a bit of watching. The whole film is shot very realistically, and nothing feels contrived or even that scripted. The acting is terrific, and they grasp the writing with ease, and just explode the screen with charisma and talent. The film is out on DVD/Blu-Ray early next year, and this is definately one to watch.

The Ides of March - Trailer