Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Ides of March.

The 15th day of March in the Roman calendar is known as The Ides of March. This date in 44 B.C. is best remembered for the death of Julius Caesar who was stabbed 23 times in the Roman Senate (painful) by a large group of conspirators. It is alleged that a seer or prophet had foreseen Caesars assassination and warned him to ‘beware the Ides of March’. I suppose the equivalent today would be the Prime Minister David Cameron being stabbed by his backbenchers on the floor of Parliament: televised of course. The soothsayer? Probable Nicholas Clegg.

George Clooney and Ryan Gosling.
Which brings me to George Clooney’s return to form after the rather disappointing The Descendants (2011) Actually released before this film, The Ides of March (2012) as you may guess from my wee ramble above, is a political conspiracy thriller/drama that touches very nicely on the dark side of a political campaign. Clooney not only plays the part of Mike Morris Governor of Pennsylvania and a Democratic presidential candidate but directs his 4th film, produces and co-writes this intriguingly pacey adaptation of Beau Willimons 2008 play called Farragut North, which in turn was loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean who served six terms as the 79th Governor of Vermont!  

This strong story is about the power and corruption involved in politics and the back room staff involved.  Exceptionally acted by an ensemble cast of the highest calibre led, not by Clooney but by the splendid Ryan Gosling, who gets better every time you see him, as Stephan Meyers, deputy campaign manager for Morris, Philip Seymour Hoffman, as Paul Zara Stephan’s boss, Paul Ciamatti the rival campaign manager and also Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright and Max Minghella.  A well made movie for film lovers of intelligent cinema that respect a director of integrity who in turn treats his audience with respect. 

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