2011-11-09 / Living & Style

'The Ides of March' Review

Victoria Henley

“The Ides of March,” a cynical yet stingingly poignant expose’ of the prevalent crookedness in the political world, centers around Mike Morris (George Clooney), a Democratic governor hoping to take his political aspirations to the next level. As the primaries begin, Morris increasingly gains a larger following and greater popularity much attributed to his sly charisma, articulate speeches, and poetic promises. However, the presidential hopeful’s young and worldly wise junior campaign manager and friend, Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) struggles with the slow, painful realization that he might just be working for a narcissistic psychopath.

Meyers’ strife is deepened when he is made a suspicious, yet tempting, offer from an opposing candidate’s smooth talking and jaded chief advisor (Paul Giamatti.) All the while, he develops feelings for a young, promiscuous intern (Evan Rachel Wood), who later makes a shocking revelation that may threaten her very life.

While “The Ides of March” begins appropriately slowly, the storyline becomes complex and multi-dimensional as the film gradually builds to the following ultimate conclusion: if one is not solid in their morals, inevitably, they will lose their souls and themselves. The film, directed and co-written by Clooney, has undertones that seem quite paradoxical to the openly liberal actor’s viewpoints, but it undeniably correlates with the current state of our nation’s government. Clooney, with his steely gazes and passive aggressive tones, convincingly portrays his role as an antagonistic "victicrat," while Gosling effortlessly shifts from a trusting, charming, protagonistic boy to a sorrowful, paranoid and (as an opposing advisor accurately predicted) “miserable” man, tormented between his conflicting desires to maintain his ethics and maintain his prevalent position in politics. “The Ides of March” is supported by sharp dialogue as well as a small but pivotal role played by Marisa Tomei as an ambitious, brash, and intrusive reporter. Each character arrives at the bitter conclusion that it is impossible to have it all, even if they die trying. This film has been rated R for pervasive language.

Victoria Henley’s grade for "The Ides of March": A

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