Published Sep 23, 2011George Clooney has wanted to make The Ides of March ever since the Beau Willimon play it's based on, Farrugut North, debuted in 2008. Three years later, he's finally ready to unveil his political thriller, and latest directorial effort, to the voting public.
Clooney also stars in the movie as Governor Mike Morris, a seemingly genuine politician who's trying to secure the Democratic Party nomination for the upcoming presidential race. To get where Morris is, you need a crack team behind you and his includes actors as diverse and talented as Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood.
Hoffman is the veteran, Wood is the intern and Gosling is the shiny new guy who's clearly destined for greater things. Naturally, Morris isn't as good a guy as everyone thinks and it isn't long before Gosling's Stephen Myers realizes this, raising the threat level across the board. This lead performance is another that will certainly continue Gosling's current Hollywood hot streak.
Clooney's execution is smooth and effective, but it does cater a little too often to his political views. Clooney didn't want his character to be a Republican, as he thought the criticism would be too obvious. As a Democrat though, he gets the chance to voice all of his platforms on topics as heated as gay marriage and tax incentives for the super-rich. Everything he says seems so sensible that the film becomes something of a criticism about all politicians, as if to suggest it could be as easy as he claims if they would just get it together.
The Ides of March is a compelling and engaging thriller, despite not bringing much new to the table. And while Clooney may not be ready to run for president, he earns my vote for being a top-notch film director. (Alliance)