The Ides of Candy!
Cast: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Synopsis: An idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.
Review: Writer, actor and director, George Clooney’s political thriller takes potshots at the dirty backroom drama in the presidential primary race in Ohio, USA.
Politician’s lie, and as Philip Seymour Hoffman simply puts it, “The only currency in politics is loyalty”. With treacherous twists, blind turns and a motor racing pace, the story propels forth with jaw-dropping events. In the wake of political idealism riding high during elections, as the title suggests, there’s plenty of back-stabbing and front-stabbing, drawing parallels to the literary classic “Julius Caesar”. “The Ides of March” is infamously known for the ominous date of Julius Caesar’s stabbing to death by his most trusted council of 60 senators. “Ambition Seduces, Power Corrupts”, and here too the byline of the film pretty much wraps it all up.
George Clooney plays the idealistic squeaky clean liberal, Gov. Mike Morris who stands for all the Democratic slogans of gay marriage, anti-oil dependency, etc. against a conservative senator. But this film belongs to his shrewd PR man Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling). Meyers idol-worships his boss till the prophecy of a tough scoop hungry journo (Marisa Tomei) comes true and he finally sees through the nasty web of deceit. Also on Gov. Morris’ team are his trusty campaign manager (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and a blonde bombshell intern (Evan Rachel Wood). She’s the human edge, flirting dangerously in a game of powerful men and suddenly when the pieces shift on the board, she’s left exposed.
Based loosely on the play “Farragut North” by Beau Willimon (which was incidentally inspired by Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential election),"The Ides of March" has dialogue and ace performances at its core. At 50, Clooney deep lines and sun-tanned face with his marvelous acting makes for the perfect governor figure. Trained, honed and directed by Clooney, Ryan Gosling will be a hit with the girls (The Ides of Candy!) and the duo have a nail-biting showdown.
Other much deserved mentions for their stellar performances include Morris’ campaign manager Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti as the rival campaign manager, Evan Rachel Wood as the coy intern, Marisa Tomei as the rough-edged reporter and Jeffrey Wright as a senator.
With seven Oscar nominees and three winners, amongst them, this (cast) is as good as it gets!
Verdict: A riveting, gripping and provocative act by top of the class actors. My vote’s all for George Clooney’s political drama.