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The Diva's Review of Ides of March (2011)

The Diva's Review of 
  Ides of March (2011)

 

This is a blockbuster film with a blockbuster topic and a blockbuster cast, which is timely and fairly realistic. We see a charismatic candidate in the presidential primary in Ohio and we get to watch the jockeying for position among his staff, his supporters and his potential endorsers. We're looking at a highly principled contender with a staff that's determined to win at any cost, so of course it becomes a question of idealism vs pragmatism. Don't forget, contemporary politics is a blood sport!

A budget this big can afford this cast:

•      George Clooney ("Up in the Air") is the candidate, perfectly clad, perfectly coiffed, with a perfect family and a perfectly balanced platform; slick, sincere and electable.

•      Ryan Gosling ("Drive") is an up-and-coming campaign professional who makes a tough job look easy. He can resist the siren call of headhunters because he believes in his candidate.

•      Paul Giamatti ("Win Win") is the wily campaign manager for the loyal opposition, who understands that sometimes it's important to get voters to voteagainst a candidate.
•      Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Moneyball") runs the show for our candidate. He's been in the business a long time and understands the value of loyalty.

•      Marisa Tomei ("Crazy, Stupid, Love") is a political hack for the New York Times. She has sources that would make any politician weep, but her hair looks like straw!

•      Jeffrey Wright ("Source Code") commands a huge block of Ohio delegates but he wants the promise of a Cabinet post before he will endorse anybody!

•      Evan Rachel Wood ("The Wrestler") interns for the candidate and his staff: she runs for coffee, delivers hard copy to meetings and generally provides a multitude of services. BTW, they need real coffee in those containers; the actors don't handle them realistically!

We see the usual strategy meetings punctuated by the usual profanity but this well-crafted drama is highly watchable and entertaining all the way. I'm sure the R-rating is mostly due to language.

Bottom line:  It's fun to see George Clooney, who worked on the screenplay and also directed, use this forum as a soapbox for his own personal ideas. Good luck there, George.

Developed by Francis Doody

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