The 68th Venice International Film Festival began here last evening with George Clooney’s political thriller, The Ides of March, with the director and his principal cast walking the Lido’s Red Carpet.
Though one could say that The Ides of March may not be exactly an opening movie material, the Clooney-Grant Heslov written work (based on Beau Willimon's play, Farragut North) is gripping. So gripping that it, to use Festival Director Marco Mueller’s words, left one’s trouser creases intact. In other words, most people at the audience were not restless, fidgeting in their seats or looking at their watches.
What makes The Ideas of March a pure delight to watch is its story line of political sex and some superb acting by Clooney as US Democratic presidential candidate Mike Morris and Ryan Gosling as the campaign mastermind, Stephen Meyers.
When Morris, a liberal and honest politician, is caught having sex with a beautiful and smart intern, Evan Rachel Wood's Molly Stearns (who gets pregnant and needs to have an abortion), a political storm – much like what happened when Clinton was caught – seems to gather. The scandal threatens to ruin Morris’ career, particularly after he fires Meyers. But the young man could be the only guy who could save Morris.
And, yes, Clooney may well be our generation's Clarke Gable, that intense actor who got Hollywood breathless once upon a time. And this evening on the Venice’s Lido clearly belonged to Clooney.
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