Movie Review: Ides of March

Ides of March
Director or Distributor

After seeing Ides of March, there are doubtless dozens of dirty politicians running back to their homes to check if their diaries are still hidden.
This movie may be fiction, but there’s no denying the truth in its portrayal of the corruption in America’s political system.
In this movie about a presidential campaign team, the main character, Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling), is a young, bright campaigner with a passion for politics and a determination to get his Democratic candidate (George Clooney) to the top. The team (headed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and its candidate are driven by morals and a commitment to being honest.
But the political chess game quickly turns sour when it becomes more about winning than making moves that they believe are just.
It starts simply enough: vying for sponsors, a meeting with an opposing campaign manager and flirting with an intern (Evan Rachel Wood). All seem relatively innocent when they begin, but soon Myers is lead into a downward spiral while he juggles secrets and lies—and not all of them are his own.
Myers begins to lose faith in the campaign’s cause and his once bright future in politics dims with every passing second. But in the cutthroat game that he finds himself in, the number of people out to get him strengthens his will to survive—even though several knives sit precariously on his vitals.
It’s not a total surprise that none of the characters in this movie remain completely uncorrupted. And even after witnessing the astonishing amount of maneuvering, bribery and scandals, I have an eerie feeling that Ides of March is not far from the real deal.
Viewers need only look to past news headlines for verification of the dirty deeds that go on in the political realm—think Schwarzenegger, Weiner or DeLay, for example.
This movie grabbed my attention from the opening scene and held it tight until the end. The plot itself wasn’t the most unexpected and fresh, but thanks to witty (yet still serious) dialogue, it didn’t fall flat. At times the character’s scripts were enlightening and thought provoking which made this somewhat dry film easier to digest.
The actors each did a good job portraying their roles, especially Gosling and Clooney, but I found Wood’s performance as “a poor little intern girl” poorly acted at times and her role as the office hussy irritating.
I understand no movie these days sells without sex, but the character had the potential to be so much more than what she was. For as much screen time as she had, it was nothing more than female drama. I would have been much more impressed had the character had any worth, but the fault lays with director George Clooney rather than Woods.
If anything, Ides of March will get you thinking about America’s political system as it exists today. And if not, it’s at least a good conversation starter.

I give it: HHHHI

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Movie Review: Ides of March

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