Politics under fire – Outside of psychological thrillers, probably my favorite type of film’s to watch are those centered on or around politics. For some reason, I can’t stay away, no matter the topic or underlying message. So, I guess in a way, I’m like all those people that tune into Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Only difference is, and it’s a big one, is films come and go. They don’t hang around for years on end like these overpaid talk radio hosts. That’s important for two reasons. One, is we can watch the film and know it’s not real, despite the hidden truths. And two, we can logically take in that ‘said’ message and move on with our lives. Sounds simple, and yet, so many people make a point of not watching films like “The Ides of March,” simply because they are scared of what they might actually learn about their country or government.What’s it about? Adapted from the Beau Willimon play Farragut North, the story here follows Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) and his journey into politics. Meyers is the Junior Campaign Manager for presidential hopeful Mike Morris (George Clooney); who along with Senior Campaign Manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is attempting to secure the state of Ohio, which would all but guarantee the democratic nomination. One day after a debate, Meyers is approached by the rival candidate’s Campaign Manager Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti), who asks him to meet later. When they do, Duffy offers Meyers a position in Senator Pullman’s campaign. Vowing to stick behind Morris, though, Meyers turns this offer down and attempts to move on. Only, that would prove to be quite difficult after choosing not to tell Zara about this meeting with Duffy. What seemed to be a small secret at first turned into quite the opposite when Meyers finally did tell Zara about his meeting. Not only would this be the beginning to his end as Junior Campaign Manager, this would be the turning point for the entire Morris campaign, which we found to contain quite a few holes in it the longer this story played out. Who was in it? The question should be,who wasn’t in it? With the likes of Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Marisa Tomei and the director himself, George Clooney, it’s hard to not like this cast. I mean, forget about the story for a second and just look at that dynamic list. Pretty impressive showing how much respect Clooney’s peers have for his style behind the camera. Because let’s face it, I doubt the story here drew them to this film. Sure, it was a different take on politics, but this cast did this for one reason, Clooney. And while I would love to say Clooney is just a big name playing director, I can’t. He clearly had his hands all over this film and to me, it started with the script and cast. Never would I have thought this cast would all fit together, but they did with ease, proving to me that Clooney is the real deal. And what was great was how no one member to this cast was bigger than the other. That was nice to see and frankly unheard of these days, so I give credit to all these actors for trusting what was given to them and creating something great in a story tailor made for the talent they each posses.The hard facts – For all that’s been said about George Clooney over the years, the guy is truly a rare talent in Hollywood. Not many actors with Clooney’s looks decide to go on the other side of the camera, so I commend him for going after what he likes. Because to me, it’s his drive that makes everything he does unique. Sure, it may not always be what people want, but Clooney doesn’t care, always choosing those roles and stories no one else wants. What else could explain why his films never seem to get the notoriety they might deserve? And “The Ides of March” will be no different, as I bet it too will leave theaters swiftly and quietly. That’s too bad, because this is actually a great film to take in given our current state in this country. And what I like is how Clooney definitely played this right down the middle, not choosing either side of the house. Sure, he’s a big time democrat, but you wouldn’t know that from watching this film take jabs at both parties. It’s real and true to what our government is nowadays, so why not watch it? I mean, in many ways, it’s clearer and more fair than what Fox News is spouting on TV every day, so that alone is enough for me.Bottom Line – For a film that only cost a little over $12 million to make, “The Ides of March” sure exudes a lot of power. And that’s from both a political side and entertaining side, as I easily saw a lot of jabs at government, past and present. So, if you want something unique and true, I strongly encourage you to watch what George Clooney did here. A- To read more from Marcus, click here
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