37. The Ides of March – George Clooney (2011)

First Viewing.

I’m not sure if this film is a dress rehearsal before George takes up the big job as president, but he does makes a damn fine job of it. He could be a 21st century Bill Clinton, with good looks, and without the sex scandals, presumably. Now while George is prepping himself to become leader of the free world he’s also made a very compelling film; it’s dark and treacherous like all good political movies should be. If you know anything about the title – a reference to Julius Caesar – you can gather what to expect here. Again Ryan Gosling puts in another fine performance, -read my Drive review for more- he actually reminds me of a young Clooney rather a lot, which is certainly no bad thing. The supporting cast is terrific, it’s as good as anything put together by the master of the ensemble movie Robert Altman. Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood and Mirasa Tomei are all equally as important to the success of this film as the two star names are. The only serious issue I have with the movie is that it can be difficult to follow at times, especially for a foreigner like myself not brought up on American politics. There’s a deluge of names, numbers and places and it’s not always easy to keep track of who’s doing what. A simple understanding of American primaries and so on certainly helps. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy the movie if you don’t, as it is very good and it sits as a nicely as a companion piece to Clooney’s Good Night & Good Luck. It impressed me a lot more than The Descendants, which is getting all the Oscar buzz.

Marks out of ten – Eight

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