Movie Review: The Ides of March

19 Dec

Finally I’ve seen this. I’ve been dying to and now I finally have. A political thriller with an all-star cast, an A-lister for the director and a cracking story all in time for Oscar season. It’s a recipe for success.

George Clooney directs, stars and adapts this adaptation of Beau Williamon’s 2008 play Farragut North, which was very well received. The story follows Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) who is the Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney) who is a democratic presidential candidate. He is campaigning against fellow democratic candidate Ted Pullman. They’re both campaigning in Ohio and this is the crucial state to getting elected. That’s the backdrop for the story, as you can imagine there’s money, corruption, greed, sex, scandal and a whole lot of other stuff that goes on behind closed doors.

Thankfully, it’s lived up to my expectations. I didn’t expect it to be the best movie of the year because there is a small element of predictability about it. You sort of know where it’s going and can see the corruption coming a mile away. However; at the core of this film you have some spectacular performances. All of the cast have a bag worth of awards, and they live up to their name. Marisa Tomei, Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood, Philip Seymour Hoffman all deliver their performances with a lot of force but without over hamming it to the point where it’s unbelievable. There’s some experience that comes across on the cameras. If there’s one thing that’s perfect it’s the acting. It’s first class.

Clooney can direct and I wish he did more. Good Night and Good Luck was his last Oscar nominated hit and I think this is a great follow-up. Let’s forget about Leatherheads, eh? He got some great performances out of the cast and there’s a great pace to the story. He’s adapted it well along with the original writer of the play and Grant Heslov really well. It is very apparent, however, that it’s a play. At the core of it, it is a great play. Yes, Clooney can put in some wide shots of Ohio to fill in the gaps but it’s all about the dialogue and the actions that happen with words.

It’s an excellent movie. It really is. Oscar nominations ahoy but I doubt there’ll be any wins. I really recommend it but don’t expect it to be the masterpiece of the year. Expect a really well-made, sharp, smart movie that will certainly entertain you.

Rating: 4.5/5

6 Responses to “Movie Review: The Ides of March”

  1. colincarman December 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Sharp indeed but a bit pessimistic?

    • aculturedlad December 22, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      I agree entirely with this comment. Though that wasn’t my main criticism of the film. My main one was that it’s nothing revelatory and groundbreaking. There’s nothing that will surprise you but it’s still a very enjoyable film.

  2. Jim December 22, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    On my list now!

    • aculturedlad December 22, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      Thanks for the comment! Definitely worth a watch.

  3. Dan Scott Lintott January 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Really enjoyed this. Little predictable yes, but still pretty intense and a good look into the dark side of politics. The last shot and end of the film were really bleak. This even made my top five of the year in the end!
    Awkward we have the same theme?! 🙂

    Good review!

    • aculturedlad January 8, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Thanks for the comment!

      So did I, as my rating reflected. It was extremely well made and had a lot of flair through it. A very good film.

      Just found your blog and love it! I’ve subscribed of course 🙂
      Haha, it’s a great theme 🙂

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