Rashid Irani's review: The Ides Of March

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The Ides Of March
Direction: George Clooney
Cast: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney
Rating: ***1/2

Based on the award-winning play by Beau Willimon (who also co-authored the screenplay), this political potboiler is George Clooney’s fourth film as director. Like his previous efforts (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Leatherheads, Good Night and Good Luck), the most appealing aspect of The Ides of March is the classy cast.

Clooney himself is in top form as an upright governor bidding to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. As the Ohio primary race hots up, his campaign team gets into overdrive. Meanwhile, his press spokesman-cum-spin doctor (Gosling, star of the recent Drive and crazy. stupid.love., in yet another powerhouse performance) finds time to begin a clandestine relationship with a flirtatious intern (Evan Rachel Wood).

Their affair, however, has disastrous consequences. As his life and career start to unravel, the ambitious young media specialist uncovers layers of dirty business that could derail his boss’s entire campaign.

Despite the languid pace and verbose script, we are fully transfixed by the unfolding drama that addresses the overlap between political chicanery and individual lives.

Almost every character becomes tangled in the tentacles of rivalry and revenge.

The veteran supporting cast, among them Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as rival campaign managers, is provided the opportunity to show just how accomplished they are.

The Ides of March is a significant achievement that demands the viewer’s close attention. Go for it.


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