THE IDES OF MARCH :: Oscar Ritual 2012
The Ides of March is one of those films that I may have never watched had it not been nominated for an Oscar. I’m not really a fan of Ryan Gosling, despite his talent, and I tend to pick and choose which George Clooney films to see simply because I don’t always trust them to be my taste. In this case, the only real draw for me to Ides was the story and the fact that it was nominated for such. Of course, that was the very thing that finally did me in.
Interestingly, Gosling is the force of the movie – the entire movie, in fact – and his journey stretches from one pole to the other. He begins as an idealistic, loyal staffer for Clooney’s presidential hopeful when he suddenly learns a secret that changes his opinion of his boss and makes him question everything he believes about him. Gosling’s expressions truly carry the film and reflect everything I was feeling as the story unfolded. Clooney did work his usual charm, but I found his far-too-perfect candidate to be a bit too smarmy. Such perfection just begs to be shattered, and I wasn’t surprised that the story sought to do just that. What did surprise me was the underuse of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti. Both gave powerful performances, to be sure, but neither was given enough to do in the film.
Though Clooney did a terrific job directing this movie, I can’t say I actually enjoyed it. The story left me with a further distaste for campaigning and politics, in general. Perhaps because it rings all too true. If I had any faith at all in the electoral process (which I really don’t), The Ides of March would certainly have torn it to shreds. By the time the movie concluded I had a bad taste in my mouth and far too much unnecessary profanity ringing in my ears. Those things do not make for a pleasant movie experience.
movie still via IMDB