The Ides of March / Election Day

(l to r) Governor Morris (George Clooney) meets with Stephen (Ryan Gosling), Ben (Max Minghella) and other staffers to discuss national service in Columbia Pictures' IDES OF MARCH.

(l to r) Governor Morris (George Clooney) meets with Stephen (Ryan Gosling), Ben (Max Minghella) and other staffers to discuss national service in Columbia Pictures’ IDES OF MARCH.

Yes, I’m writing about this movie appropriately today. George Clooney directed a modern-day masterpiece full of great filmmaking (sound in particular) and an amazing cast (Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, etc.) that actually got me thinking even more about the political process.

Likely rooted from memories of his father’s 2004 campaign for the House of Representatives (he did not get in), Clooney created a masterful work. Gosling plays a specialized aide in a presidential campaign who gets in-depth involvement on both sides.

This morality tale digs deeper as Clooney makes good use of his specialized experience including K Street, the 2003 HBO documentary series about lobbying in Washington DC. Documentaries are a great way to anchor Hollywood treatments.

Take the 1992 Clinton campaign for example, after watching Primary Colors as was even more impressed with the 1992 documentary The War Room. It works beyond political films too (e.g. Ali with the documentary When We Were Kings; Coach CarterHoop Dreams, etc.).

Elements of sabotage, deceit, desires, and ideology all boil down to morality and how far we go to get what we want. The Ides of March is an adaption of the play Farragut North by former political aide Beau Willimon.

A thought-provoking and entertaining film that I am glad I took the initiative to see before I met up with a group of friends later that night to see another movie. Unfortunately, the theater I saw it in was almost empty. Highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and rated R for pervasive language.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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This entry was posted in 2010s Film Reviews, Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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