An unusually short review of George Clooney’s new film The Ides of March here. In four points. Point one: the title. The Ides of March (March 15) was the day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated by his political enemies, some of whom being his friends; one of them being his adopted son. As a title for this film, it is completely uninteresting. Because although there his some metaphorical backstabbing going on, but no real assassination. It ends in a bit of a dud.
Point two: the plot. Talented press agent for a presidential candidate (Ryan Gosling) finds out a nasty detail about his candidate (Clooney). He is approached by the campaign manager of the opponent (Paul Giamatti) and subsequently sacked by his own boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Of course he wiggles himself back into some position of power, by doing some backstabbing along the way. It is all shockingly boring and predictable.
Point three: the stakes. I do not care about any of these people. So there must be some bigger stake, something that all this is about. Something about Clooney’s presidential candidate that still makes you want him to be president despite his faults. And what do we get? Two little tiny moments of ecotalk. That is not good enough.
Point four: the cast. Gosling. Clooney. Giamatti. Hoffman. And then there are also: Evan Rachel Wood. Marisa Tomei and Jeffrey Wright. So much talent. Wasted on a lack of character, ideas and drama. Apart perhaps from Hoffman and Wood, who do have their moments.
If there is any real assassinating going on in this film, than it is George Clooney doing it to his own directorial career.
Point five. No. No point five. If you want to go and see a Ryan Gosling film that is out now, then go and see Drive. If you want to see a good political film directed by Clooney, go and buy Good Night and Good Luck on DVD.