Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Ides of March - DVD Review


Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella, Jennifer Ehle and Gregory Itzin.  Directed by George Clooney.

I'm a political junkie, so it's fun for me to watch politically-based stories. When they're realistic or accurate, they can be exciting (Primary Colors), and when they're not, they still provide their own howling amusement (The Contender).

Based on a play, this movie focusses on the campaign managers, and the down-and-dirty politics they have to play for their guy to win in the primary. It's about Democrats but it could really go to either party.

Ryan Gosling plays Stephen Meyers, a highly-skilled campaign operative who's finally found an employer he can believe in - Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney). But before he can win the presidency, Morris must win the crucial primary of Ohio. The movie is more about Meyers convening with campaign manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) than it is the actual candidate. Meanwhile the campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) for their opponent would like to figure out a way to get Stephen to switch sides.

I tend to like Gosling in everything he does, but when you have two heavywrights like Hoffman and Giamatti, I wanted to see more of them, wanted to see them face off.

Clooney's directing job is solid, but once the credits roll, it lingers more as a good movie than a great one.

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