The Ides of March
In Ides of March, Ryan Gosling plays a young, ambitious political aid high up on a democratic presidential primary race. His candidate is George Clooney’s Governor Morris. The movie starts off by giving us a backdoor look into the campaign and setting up the candidate as a man of ideals. This is some good stuff and gave hints of the presidential campaign in The West Wing’s amazing final season.
But then the movie takes a turn as the metaphorical backstabbing which the title eludes to starts to happen. There’s some interesting twists and turns here and the movie starts to move more into political thriller territory. The real problem though is that the whole movie seems to lack a certain level of grandeur. The tone and setting doesn’t quite seem as big as a nationally covered race like this would be. I couldn’t help but feel like it was missing some deeper level of drama somehow, but the whole storyline build-up kind of fell flat.
Rest assured, this is a pretty solid movie, it just doesn’t manage to hit its crescendo and turns out to be much less dramatic than you may be hoping for. There are some excellent performances, mind you. Gosling, whose had a pretty impressive year, is very good carrying the movie. All Clooney really does is campaign speeches, but he does a damn good job of it. And its starting to become a cliche to talk about how great Philip Seymour Hoffman is, but that’s because it also happens to be true. He gives another subtle yet electrically compelling performance here. These actors are the real reason to watch this film.