The Ides of March (2011)

2011, USA. (R). Director: George Clooney. Writers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon. Cast: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghela, Marisa Tomei

I entered The Ides of March preparing myself to scratch my own forehead throughout the presentation as I only have learned politics just recently. From Twitter. Apparently, the dialogues are not stuffed with four-syllable words, and the story – at its very core – revolves around the themes of loyalty and integrity. Dancing through the political drama, the plot twists elegantly, and ends up as a perfect tragedy.

The loyalty of Ryan Gosling’s Stephen Meyers to his Democratic peers is being challenged as Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) is trying to win Ohio. It takes only one small and “seemingly nothing” mistake to bring his good career to a huge turmoil. After his tour de force performance in Drive, Gosling carries most of The Ides of March on his shoulders alone, with help coming only from heavyweights like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti.

It’s the subtlety in plantings, creating the twists and pay-offs that make The Ides of March smart without being unnecessarily ultra-complicated. Surely the story itself mostly belongs to Americans, but as it questions our integrity and virtue, The Ides of March leaves a lot to think about for each of its audience. Please do not bring airheads who ask what’s the meaning of each scene to see this movie. Gentlemen, this is your me-time.

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