The Ides of March is an interesting political drama directed by George Clooney (Ocean’s 11), who stars as Governor Mike Morris and also stars Ryan Gosling (Full Nelson) as Stephen Meyer, a media analyst who along with Paul Zara played by the always impressive Phillip-Seymour Hoffman try to give Governor Morris a media edge as Ohio prepares to vote for a Democratic candidate to represent the party in the presidential election.
The Ides of March gives an insight into the life of the political spin doctors and media advisers, that are never seen but make up the bulk of a political candidate’s armoury. They are willing to go the extra mile to get the candidate they believe in elected, complete with smearing the opposition as Governor Morris and his rival for the Ohio Primary fight for the Democratic nomination.
We get to delve into the mindsets of the characters and their determination to win at all costs, and as is to be assumed by the William Shakespeare inspired title; borrowed from his play “Julius Caesar”, backstabbing in the political world does not seem like a big incident.
We join the movie as Stephen tests the microphone and layout of the televised studio Governor Morris will use with his debate against his main rival for the Democratic nomination, and we find out that the jobs of Stephen and Paul are not only to attack the opposition using the media, but to cover every angle to make their candidate look good, at this point we meet the media spin doctor for the other camp, Tom Duffy, played brilliantly by Paul Giamati (Shoot Em’ Up), who is envious of Stephen’s ability to manipulate the press into saying precisely what he wants them to say in favour of Governor Morris, and as he tells him “You make it look easy, but we all know how difficult it is.”
As is customary with political movies, no one is truly an underdog, as things can change quite suddenly (you only have to look at the recent ratings between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to see this happening in the Republican race).
It turns out that Stephen’s idealism is about to severely tested, and with none other than the gorgeous Evan Rachel Wood (whose blond hair makes her almost unrecognisable from the moody character she played in The Wrestler), she plays Molly Stearns a young intern who eases in to Stephen’s life telling him she has been after him for some time.
Watching this movie you can see why it is lined up as a serious Oscar contender, the acting from Clooney as usual is top notch, and Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour-Hoffman, and Paul Giamati put in excellent performances.
Source by Dan Stevens