The Ides of March - Review

The Ides of March | CULT OF PERSONALITY Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March

The Ides of March is the fourth feature directed by George Clooney (after Confessions of a Dangerous MindGood Night, and Good Luck, and Leatherheads), and it's his best one yet. Actors who become directors tend to focus on performance at the expense of everything else. Clooney certainly brings out the best in his actors, but his driving trait as a filmmaker is that he knows what plays — he has an uncanny sense of how to uncork a scene and let it bubble and flow.

The movie is a grippingly dark and cynical drama of insider politics, set during the days leading up to an Ohio Democratic presidential primary. Ryan Gosling, proving that he can flirt with sleaze and still make you like him, stars as Stephen Meyers, the idealistic but also shrewdly opportunistic press secretary to Gov. Mike Morris (played by Clooney), a soulful and articulate Obama-in-2008-esque candidate who is promising a new kind of politics. Morris and his team are out to win the endorsement of a senator (Jeffrey Wright) whose rival delegates could clinch Morris the nomination. The movie, adapted from Beau Willimon's play Farragut North (the screenplay was co-written by Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Willimon), offers a densely shuffled version of actual headline campaign news: not just Obama but the Clinton scandals, Howard Dean, and a nod to Mike Dukakis, all knitted together with cameos by Charlie Rose, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews that (for once) don't feel like stunt reality gimmicks but are woven into the movie's texture. Read More...,,20518301,00.html


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