There are few actors out there that I will gladly sit and watch with a smile on my face regardless of how bad the movie is.¬† George Clooney is one of them.¬† Sure I'm a little gay for the guy, but how can you not be?¬† This new movie of his is not only starring him as a politician in the fight for the nomination but it was directed by him too.¬† The last time he did both it was for Michael Clayton and it got him an Oscar nomination for Directing and a win for Acting.¬† Sadly, this time around, it won't produce such accolades.
Despite the fact that The Ides of March has one of the most impressive casts this year and¬†it does nothing for the film.¬† It not only has Clooney but Ryan Gosling, Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler).¬† With that kind of pedigree, you'd think there'd be thespiatic explosions all over the screen.¬† There isn't.
That's not to say that the acting isn't well done though.¬† Everyone is natural and subtle but the script prevents them from displaying too much more than the cold Washington Insiders they are...that is except for Gosling.¬† Once again, Ryan Gosling does a great job at showing us a very layered character.¬† He's the cool and collected head of the political campaign that's put in two situations that lend itself to his undoing.¬† One involves a tug-of-war between Hoffman and Giamatti and the other is cleaning up after Clooney.¬† It's fun and unfortunate to watch Reynold's character become undone, but it's not enough to really get full entertainment out of it.
The film moves at a¬†deliberatly slow pace.¬† It's not heart-pounding or edge-of-your-seat.¬† It plays out more realistic than most political thrillers do.¬† I appreciate that.¬† But when it comes to how I want my movies, realism is appreciated but not throughly loved.¬† I would have enjoyed a few more twists and turns and a little more passion from the players would have pumped more life into the film.¬† But it's still very dark, sinister and paints an ugly portrait of American politics...and that I like.
The Ides of March¬† (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B-