George Clooney delivers what is a really weighty political thriller in his new work The Ides Of March, or as I like to call it "How to become cynical with the political process in one hour and forty-one minutes."
The film is a fictional account of a Democratic presidential primary, set in current times, but makes use of the real news media. Is it a metaphor that the real media Is following a fake election? Probably not.
Ryan Gosling, or as I like to call him “the new George Clooney” plays Stephen Myers , a likable, suave and idealistic top political staffer for Democratic presidential candidate Governor Mike Morris ( Clooney). Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the campaign manager. Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) i s the rival democratic candidate campaign manager as both side battle in the Ohio primary.
After Tom tries to recruit Stephen to the other side, a series of events that includes more cruel intentioned double crossings and back stabbings than one could imagine happens. At times, The Ides of March becomes the type of political thriller that only happens in movies, because the details of the misdoings are just too juicy.
Clooney directs and writes the screenplay for the film that also credits Leo DiCaprio with Executive producer credits. With DiCaprio playing J. Edgar Hoover in “J. Edgar,” due out in November, this creates a little buzz. In all though, the story in The Ides of March is strong and the cast all equally deliver command performances.
The good thing about this production is that it is not really a partisan movie. I’m not sure anybody comes out looking good. This is more about strategy and the thrill of the game. I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised by the dark secrets that lurk in our political process, I just hope that someday I don’t become as cynical as some of these characters.