A lot of people are going to see this movie. The theater I was in was all older (50s+). Not sure what that says. Still, it’s getting attention for a reason.
Before I get to the movie though let’s talk about why I initially really did not want to see this movie. The trailer. The trailer for The Ides of March was just godawful. It was way overproduced and dramatic. It felt like they were trying to sell something more akin to the Bourne series than a political thriller.
Anyways to put it simply the movie is about seedy politics (poly = many, tics= bloodsucking creatures). Nothing new to most people. Yes the movie takes a stance on the democratic/liberal side. Get over it. It’s hollywood for starters and it’s also George Clooney, who get’s a writing credit in addition to his acting and directing in the film. That doesn’t really matter though. Clooney does criticize both groups since he’s pretty much bashing politicians in general. Again nothing new.
The movie itself is pretty streamlined. There isn’t a lot of flashy stuff going on here. You have a great cast, which is what is needed. The movie isn’t about the election, it’s about the characters. George Clooney fits the bill perfectly. He looks like a President, and we do love picking Presidents based on their appearance. You have to fit the bill. Ryan Gosling is also really good and handles the character’s shifts well. The supporting cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and Marisa Tomei were great as well. Again the names alone bring expectations. I only wish there could have been a few more scenes with them, especially Hoffman and Giamatti. Neither of their big speeches was enough for me and Tomei needed one. Evan Rachel Wood played her party pretty good as well.
Despite how low-key the film kind of is, it still looked great. I love that the movie is set in Ohio because that’s where I’m going to school right now. It’s a pretty good setting for making things look gloomy, which the movie is. The content is dark, but the visuals of the movie is even darker. There really aren’t nice happy sunny scenes. It’s pretty much all miserable weather, which is Ohio. It also allows the obligatory overcoats to be worn – something required in all political thrillers. That and some nasty weather, usually rain.
Actually the movie seems sort of like a play. The sets aren’t elaborate. Your focusing on the characters and they aren’t running around in any chases scenes or anything. I guess this isn’t surprising since it’s based off a play. One of my favorite scenes is when Hoffman gets into the SUV at the barbershop. You don’t hear what goes on inside. The camera just slowly gets closer and closer until he walks out and the SUV’s drive away. Clooney does this a couple of times, like the final scene and it works great.
The only disappointment was how fast the movie went. I’m used to these kind of music being longer. They don’t drag necessarily, but they don’t seem to fly by this quick. I guess it just goes to show how good a job Clooney did in getting people’s attention. Although the ended is kind of disappointing. I’m still not sure whether I like it, mostly because I still feel it’s anti-climatic. Not content wise, but visually. It’s another one of those slow move ins on Gosling as he sits there and then when he would in theory start speaking it ends. The scenes has to be at least two-three minutes. It felt like it at least and it just kinda irked me a bit.
Overall a great film. Defiantly one that probably deserves consideration for some Oscar nods. I don’t think this movie necessarily has repeat watchability though. It’s kinda dark so I don’t know it it’s something to many people will want to re-watch a lot because of that. Still, the length and pacing being amazing is why I’d watch it again.