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Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Ides of March Review

The Ides of March Review
2011, 99 minutes
Rated R for pervasive language

The Ides of March is George Clooney's new film about a political campaign manager who finds out about the dirty side of politics.  Not only did Clooney act in Ides, but he directed and co-wrote it too.  I don't have a lot to say about it because there is not a whole lot to say about it.  First off, the acting was stellar.  The cast includes the likes of Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Jennifer Ehle, Jeffrey Wright, and Max Minghella.  Gosling, once again, turns out an outstanding performance as the political campaign manager.  He is completely believable, as he looks comfortable in his role.  Clooney and the rest are great as always.  Giamatti is especially excellent as the Republican candidate's number two man.
But, great as the acting is, the story is uneven.  The beginning set-up is boring and slow, with no interesting content whatsoever.  Then, the whole middle portion is juicy and compelling with plot twists abound.  But, then the film ends with no punch like it should.  Great political thrillers such as All the President's Men pack a punch at the end.  Understated, but powerful.  The problem with this film is that it is not powerful, has no original message, and just doesn't take all of its plot threads and twists and tie them together.
A nice aspect of this movie, though, is the cinematography which is crisp, cool, and assured.  Also, the incredibly versatile composer Alexandre Desplat (The King's Speech, A Prophet, Fantastic Mr. Fox).
Overall, The Ides of March is a waste of a cast, but not entirely a waste of time.  It is a good, not great piece of entertainment that will likely be a hit if you see it.  But, I will say this: with the amount of talent involved, this film should have been more.

-Joshua Handler

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