Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon (Screenplay) Beau Willimon (Play)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright
Plot: An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.
Tagline – Ambition seduces. Power corrupts.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: All-Star Political Thriller
Story: The Ides of March starts as we follow Stephen Meters (Gosling) leading the campaign for presidential candidate Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) under Paul Zara (Hoffman), they are going against Tom Duffy (Giamatti) who is running the campaign for Senator Pullman (Mantell). We are heading into the final week of the campaign as things start to heat up.
When Stephen learns the dirty side to politics, he is caught up in the middle of doing the right thing and getting the win for his candidate, learning that this game is just as dangerous when it gets turned against him.
Thoughts on The Ides of March
Characters – Stephen Meyers is the ambitious campaign manager who is wildly considered one of the best in the business with his ability to handle the media and remain calm through any situation. His life is turned upside when he becomes a pawn in the dirty tactics involved in an election race and he will need to roll his sleeves up to fight back. Governor Mike Morris is the man Stephen is working for, he is the underdog in the race and seems like the perfect candidate, only he has secrets which could ruin his campaign. Paul is Stephen’s boss, the man who took a chance on Stephen, he values loyalty over anything else and doesn’t always trust the people around him. Tom Duffy is the campaign manager on the opposite side, he does like the ideas Stephen is playing and wants him on his team, he is the first one to play him into his own game. Molly is the intern on the staff that could bring down the whole campaign with her secret. Ida is a journalist that will do anything for a story which will get her on the front page.
Performances – In the performances we have a list of all-star actors that show us just how an ensembled cast can make a movie so enjoyable. We have Ryan Gosling taking centre stage, George Clooney playing a role her is perfect for and Hoffman and Giamatti that are just acting masters with these roles showing just how talented they are.
Story – The story here follows a younger political man o the verge of his biggest campaign victory, when he gets shown the darker side of politics. Now this is an interesting story as we see how the innocent man must get dirty to survive the game and how the seasoned veterans of the game know every trick that will come their way. The mix of this keeps us on the edge of our seat through the film, the weakness in the film comes from the non-Americans struggle to keep up with who is one which Republican or Democratic side of the discussion and what level this is for the presidential candidate races. Unless you know the American political system you might fall short knowing everything going on here.
Thriller – This film does keep us on edge through the events of the campaign, this is what we want and the twists in the darker side of the political system become clear by the end.
Settings – The film throws us into every potential political arena you can think of, we get plenty of discussions some in secret others in an open forum to just what goes on behind the scenes of a campaign race.
Scene of the Movie – This will be my campaign.
Final Thoughts – This is a good political thriller that will keep you guessing from start to finish, it has a brilliant cast that all shine too.
Overall: Keeps you guessing from start to finish.