The Ides of March – A Review

Wednesday night (10/5/11), I went to go see a screening of the latest George Clooney pic, The Ides of March, a serious drama revolving around a primary run in Ohio between two Democratic candidates. One of the candidates is played by director George Clooney, who is assisted with his campaign by Ryan Gosling and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Before venturing to see this film, all I had known about it was the trailer, which I saw the day before the screening. My first thought based on the trailer was that I wouldn’t be too interested in the film considering politics and George Clooney dramas aren’t particularly my favorite type of movie. Sadly, I was right.

The movie started off promising enough because the theater was jam-packed. I can’t remember when I went to a movie screening with a full house. Generally I get really enthusiastic and excited when there’s a large audience because we can all hear each other laugh, gasp, cry, whatever – it makes the experience much more enjoyable. This wasn’t enough, though, to redeem the film.

Ryan Gosling’s character plays the protagonist, although he’s not a complete good-guy. Somehow, he ends up winning and getting his way by the end of the film, even though he does some pretty messed up things. His performance, though, was very well acted; probably the best out of the stellar cast (which also included Academy Award nominee and winner Paul Giamatti and Marissa Tomei, respectively).

The story itself was an unraveling of secrets and betrayal amongst these characters exaggerating how important what they’re doing is. I mean, yeah, running for President of the United States is a big deal, but it’s not like anyone is going to die or something. Oh wait, someone actually does. In this way, the story did have its high points and actually got me a little interested and excited; when I wasn’t fighting to stay awake.

The film isn’t totally bad; I think what it was is that it wasn’t my genre and the ending was really unsatisfying. However, I can definitely tell a lot of people will like this film, and a lot did at the screening, as it aroused applause at its ending.

With all the political frenzy going on today with the Republican nominees and the upcoming 2012 election, I really was not in the mood to have more politics shoved down my throat. This film just seemed way too planned to be released at this time and it definitely makes some firm and confident suggestions about politics in general, which sometimes feels like it wants the viewer to believe as well. I’ve really had enough of George Clooney’s pretentious film work as of late, and I think it’s about time he ventured into different genres. For those of you who enjoy political-minded, Oscar-contending films, this film will not disappoint. For those of you wanting something to lighten your mood, this will not be your cup of tea.

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