The Ides of March (5/16/12)

Ides of MarchMovie One Hundred Twenty

The Ides of March is political drama about the both a running candidate for the presidency of the U.S. and his staff as things begin unfolding for the campaign.

Ryan Gosling plays Stephen Meyers, a young up-and-comer campaign adviser working alongside Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman) for their candidate Mike Morris (George Clooney). As the campaign heats up for Morris as he tries to win the democratic nod for presidency, things begin to fall apart for Stephen. The rival campaign manager meets with Stephen and the press finds out, leaving Stephen out of a job. Around the same time, Stephen learns a dark secret of Morris’ and he learns what politics is truly about.

George Clooney co-wrote and directed Ides of March and while the screenplay is smart and the direction is well done, something is missing here. Perhaps it’s the depressing message that politics are absolutely messed up that drives the movie. Evan Rachael Wood plays an intern on the campaign that gets involved with Stephen and I simply cannot stand her. When she is on screen it’s like a talentless black hole sucking all the life out of the picture, even including Gosling’s intense staring fits. I may not be in the majority with that slightly hyperbolic opinion, and it may not affect your viewing experience should you choose to see this film, but it marred Ides of March for me. Oh, and Marissa Tomei has a role as a reporter and they made her look like a crazy cat lady that never bathes, so why cast Marissa Tomei in that role?

The story is something the film does quite well, the characters all have their place and the entire thing is, sadly, believable. While the film focuses on democratic candidates, I didn’t notice any real political potshots taken at either party. If anything, it makes the entire two-party democratic system look bad. By the end of Ides of March I was left wanting a bit more. I enjoyed my time with The Ides of March and could watch Ryan Gosling stare intensely at a wall for 90 minutes. It’s certainly not a film I think everyone would enjoy, judging by some of the Amazon user reviews, lots of people hated it. While I had a positive experience with Ides of March, it seems like it’s the type of movie that needs to be experienced first-hand.

I give it 4 I’d vote for George Clooneys out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


24 responses to “The Ides of March (5/16/12)

    • I’m kind of surprised I gave it 4 stars after watching it…because while writing it I was thinking it was worthy of 3 stars. It’s times like these when I wish I was on a 10 point scale instead of a 5 point one.

  1. Haven’t seen it, not sure I will. Nice review and it did give me some thoughts to ponder on about maybe seeing it someday.

  2. I, personally, thought it was one of the most overrated last year. There were some good performances by Gosling and Clooney and the premise is good. The problem is I found the story too unbelievable to accept. Good review.

    • Interesting…
      I thought the story was actually believable. I could accept all the dirty dealings and double crossings as well as Clooney’s secret. Maybe that just means I’m politically jaded?

      • I tend to lean liberally and dislike government scandals, but I felt that all the dirty dealings in the movie were a little too over-exaggerated. Clooney’s a good writer (Good Night, and Good Luck proves that), but I felt that the movie is a little too muddled for my liking.

  3. The cast is very good with this material, and make politicians back-stabbing the hell out of each other seem like the most exciting thing to ever grace the screen. However, the film takes a left turn right in the middle and that’s where I started to lose a bit of my interest for it. Good review Andy.

  4. i enjoyed the film. evan rachel wood didn’t bother me much. philip seymour hoffman does what he always does – steady and consistent, low key, in control, and always believeable. i wasn’t thrilled with it, but it was worth seeing as long as you’re not someone who hates anything that involves politics. i thought that the reason for firing gossling’s character were not that substantial, but i guess i don’t know enough about the process.

  5. Even seeing just from this comments, the opinions regarding this film are very, very mixed. As in you either love it or you hate it. You know where I stand on this one: I loved it as much as you did. But I would never vote for George Clooney or his character, so I’d give it 4 I Won’t Vote for George Clooneys out of 5. Great review.

  6. I thought this was a 3 1/2 star at best Andy. I eventually gave it 3 as I really expected more. Hoffman and Giamatti were the real highlights for me. The last time Clooney done politics in Good Night Good Luck, I was mesmerised. Maybe that’s why I expected more from this.

  7. Great review, and very funny, although I don’t agree with what you say about ERW. I think she’s a fantastic actress (despite being horrible in Across the Universe) and, for me, she was the standout along S. Hoffman and Giamatti. Laughed at your remark about Marisa Tomei’s character looking like a crazy cat lady. I didn’t think that when I watched ‘Ides’ but I agree. Also, “Gosling’s intense staring fits” (couldn’t agree more; I think his performance pretty much boiled down to that).

    • Thanks, Fernando! I don’t know what it is about Wood that just gets under my skin, I’m not normally so critical of actors but something about her just seems very stiff to me. In Ides, it seemed like she was aware of every single movement even her hands were making, nothing about her character seemed fluid to me, it all seemed forced. But perhaps I’m just too biased to see what she can do.

  8. Pingback: May Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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