Watching the political drama, The Ides of March, one thing continued to strike me.
George Clooney should probably be President.
The film about a young, determined, and excellent campaign manager, played by Ryan Gosling, takes us into the back rooms of the Ohio democratic primary, as the character played by Clooney makes his charge towards the Presidency.
As with most political dramas, we are provided with some insight into the backroom dealings that gets somebody their name on the ticket to become the leader of the free world. This film is very well written, tremendously acted, and has enough intrigue to make it a very enjoyable and exciting view.
A strong cast is led by Gosling, who absolutely nails his role as the true political up-and-comer. Someone who is very good at their jobs, but still has the innocence and beliefs that things can be changed for the better. He plays this perfectly. He is calm and suave, yet can still step his way through the constant political minefields that arise on the trail of the campaign. As the story progresses, he come to a choice, where he must either step up to be brutal, or continue on his more righteous path towards the improvement of America. This may be his best acting performance yet, and he really sells his character as someone good, and someone that we, as the audience, should root for, in the dirty world of American politics.
There are other very strong characters with smaller roles, as well. Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti…they are all very good, and very believable with the smaller roles they are provided with. This realism provides us with a better view into the politics, and they sell the story that Clooney (who is also the director) places for us. His commentary is clear because he has such strong people laying down his ideas.
As for Clooney himself, he has been an outspoken actor in real life, with strong political views. It was perhaps inevitable that he made a film focusing on the state of US politics, and he does a fantastic job. As for directing himself as an actor, he also does a great job. We see him as the perfect Presidential candidate, able to be intelligent, give empowering and charismatic speeches, and engaging in strong debates with the regular folks of the country. It makes us wonder…wouldn’t he actually be a very strong politician in the real world?
The Ides of March is a very strong movie. Buoyed by the acting, it provides us with a great story, one of hope and values, before turning ugly. It is fun to watch throughout, and although it is not terribly different from other political films (especially ones that focus on the campaign part of an election…several parts of the film reminded me of The Killing, and the race for mayor in the first season), it does a good job of showing the seedy underbelly of something that can look so squeaky clean and good.
Well worth a watch.