Thursday, 19 January 2012

'The Ides of March' Film Review

Nominated for four Golden Globes, 'The Ides of March' is certain to obtain some Oscar buzz. As I've not heard of or seen many of the films nominated this year, I thought I'd watch this having just seen 'Midnight in Paris'.

Junior campaign manager Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is helping governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) run his campaign as he believes in the man's integrity and his policy. Campaigning in Ohio, his opponent, Pullman has no chance if they win the delegates, but this would soon become a struggle as they find out the senator (Jeffrey Wright) is considering an endorsement from Pullman.

When he discovers incriminating information about Mike, will Stephen succumb to the dirty politics at hand to get what he wants? 

I didn't have much idea on what this film was about- the trailer was confusing and didn't give much away which was good for a trailer but not great for me. Not familiar with US politics, I also found it quite difficult to grasp all the elements of the movie, but understood what was going on eventually.

After his meeting with opponent's campaign manager Duffy (Paul Giamatti), the conflict going on in Stephen's mind, his choices, his loyalty and his intentions are all very interesting and this character becomes the focus of the movie. I found it extremely interesting how he is developed and the film succeeds in exploring how a man is shaped by the events that occur.

The pace of the movie is somewhat slow at times, though certainly picks up towards the end, and I felt it ended somewhat too abruptly, though for artistic reasons, works well, and in essence, bookends the movie. It follows a tragic progression, and this is a beautiful way for the movie to end.

Ryan Gosling- Stephen Meyers
George Clooney- Governor Mike Morris
Philip Seymour Hoffman- Paul Zara
Paul Giamatti- Tom Duffy
Evan Rachel Wood- Ida 

Also stars Jeffrey Wright and Marisa Tomei.

Ryan Gosling has been hot property in the past year with several feature films all on the awards circuit (Drive, Stupid Crazy Love and this movie) so he will certainly be up for many nominations. I thought he played the role well especially in the scene where he is sitting in his car in the rain- beautiful.

The rest of the cast is also strong, though no standouts- the focus is solely on Ryan Gosling.
For someone who doesn't get politics, this movie was still enjoyable and thrilling towards the end. The artistic potential of this movie was reached and the ending was beautiful. Ryan Gosling was also a great choice to star in the lead role and has every chance of winning the awards this season!

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