My Old Addiction

Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou

The Ides Of March

THE IDES OF MARCHBB.5

(out of 5)


This tepid, underwhelming political drama stands on the shoulders of better films without adding anything new. is the idealistic assistant to a Democratic campaign manager () who has an unwavering belief in the possibility that their candidate (, who also wrote and directed) will be the one to make a better tomorrow. One careless misstep on his part during the primary race, however, puts Gosling’s job on the line, and rather than hold to the standards to which he holds others, Gosling entertains the possibility that he could use a card he has against Clooney to secure his own place in the game. The message is quite clear: whatever belief you have in the greater good, you will sacrifice your principles for your own survival.  Politics is such a dirty game that even the most innocent are corrupted (even when working for the good guys!) The problem is that Clooney (as director) puts this across with such blunt, plainly spelled-out force that the enjoyment of watching a soul deteriorate before your very eyes is denied you. Gosling does a terrific job of letting his frustration simmer in his eyes, the same eyes that rolled with passionate joy earlier in the film, but he is never given enough of a chance to really stew in his situation before he decides to go for the fall. A movie like Primary Colours did a far better job of showing the declining nature of political idealism while including more developed characters, a lot more humour (which this one needs: between Clooney’s frankly simplistic liberal rhetoric and jokes on par with the kind of humour that usually comes from an evangelical preacher, the film is far too dry) and zippier direction. This one takes far too long to get going, after a rocky start that never kicks into gear until one character makes a devastating personal confession, and the uneven performances range from wan (Clooney is phoning it in the whole time) to overbaked (Hoffman and as rival campaign bosses are reading their lines with self-important gusto but never get around to creating characters…are we supposed to think these guys are great actors simply because they’re ugly?)  Gosling is the only one who comes off untarnished, while appearances by  and  are wasted opportunities.


, , , , ,

USA, 2011

Directed by

Screenplay by George Clooney, , , based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon

Cinematography by

Produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Actors Index:  George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei


Academy Awards:  2011

Golden Globe Awards:  2011

Toronto International Film Festival:  2011


IdesOfMarch

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