Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Ides of March

Directed (and co-written) by George Clooney, Cross Creek Pictures, 2011. Starring Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Even Rachel Wood and George Clooney.

Genre: Drama

Question: Do you ever wonder why politicians are portrayed as bad people? Well, because they usually are. Okay, sorry, I am just not a fan of politics or politicians. However, I finished watching The Ides of March a couple of hours ago, down at my local theatre, and it just reaffirmed my lack of desire to follow any political side.

To be honest, I have never been particularly keen on politics. I grew up with people in my family who never really agreed on a candidate or political party. In turn, I stuck to my independent ways and mostly ignored what most politicians said (or lied about). Even when I lived in Washington, DC during the Clinton years (yes, even through the Monica Lewinsky era) when our country was pretty stable politically, I was never for nor against a particular party....Okay, I've got to stop - one of my rules is that I never discuss politics or religion so I am ending this paragraph right here.

So, what should I talk about regarding The Ides of March if I can't talk about politics but the movie is a politic drama? Thinking...thinking...okay, got it. How about the acting?

Well, I did post the preview on this a few weeks ago because I was happy to see some of my favorite actors in this film: Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ryan Gosling. They were all fantastic! They all played political strategists: the people in control behind the curtain. I mean they all had to play uber smart fellows that had to make you believe whatever they wanted you to believe even though you didn't want to believe it - just like a true political strategist.  Spin, spin, spin. I particularly liked Paul Giamatti in this film. He wasn't in it enough for my taste but there is just something about his presence on-screen that screams intelligence.

I should talk more about the characters or the plot line, but I really want to talk about how much my hometown was represented in this film: Cincinnati, Ohio. The story takes place mostly in Ohio where George Clooney plays the governor of Arkansas running for the democratic primary there. However, nearly the entire movie was shot in Cincinnati and in areas that I knew well, recognized and even went to all the time. It kind of was distracting for me because I knew the areas so well that when certain parts of the city were shown I immediately had a childhood memory, and some were intense memories. (Okay, now I miss those skywalks and, yes, that is where one of the scenes was shot. I know that skywalk well. It's attached to the hotel I stay at when I go back home.) Oh well.

Over all, the story was decent but a bit on the predictable side which was a little disappointing. However, Ryan Gosling was believable as his character gets taken on a ride with the political mind games. I really liked how smooth and confident his character was and how quickly it changed when the twist came. Georgie boy played the smarmy politician with a certain finesse and charm but I will admit this wasn't my favorite performance of his.

I should talk more about the movie but I keep thinking about Cincinnati and can't focus on The Ides of March. Last time this happened with me was with Rain Man. Although Cincinnati wasn't shown that much in that movie - the part that was in it was filmed on my street - two doors down from my house. I even saw the filming and met a few of the actors...Okay, now I want to go home today and get some Skyline Chili or Graeter's Ice Cream and drive around Mount Adams, Ault Park or one of the other beautiful areas in my hometown.

My favorite part: Ryan Gosling was looking mighty cute in the film. What? He was.

My least favorite part: That it made me miss my hometown - or is that a good thing?

Rating: R
Length: 101 minutes

Review: 5 out of 10

Click on the film poster to watch movie instantly:


TJ Lubrano said...

Love the review :D I want to walk in a skywalk as well now. I'm not a political person myself, so when I do watch a movie about subjects I rather stray away from (war is another one), I focus on other elements as well. The building of the storyline, acting, scenery etc. I am curious about the acting in this movie now!


Tired of Previews said...

Thanks TJ - I know, politics put me to sleep but having my hometown in the movie was a good distraction...sort of.

Now what to watch next?

Dan LaFollette said...

It sounds a bit dull. I've been waiting for a good Clooney film, when he's good, he's really good. I should watch O Brother, Where Art Thou? again.
The last time I was around Cincinnati I was pulled over in my rental car by the police for allegedly for going over the speed limit. I didn't get cited but I was pulled over in the customer's parking lot.

Tired of Previews said...

Dan, wait? You were driving in a parking lot and got pulled over? If so, that doesn't surprise me - we Cincinnatians can be a bit on the slow side...omg, I'm laughing at picturing that. Should I be proud of their thought of safety or totally embarrassed? Hahaha

Yeah, not my fave of Clooney's. Yes, watch Oh Brother. Great film!!!

Thanks, Dan.

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