Review: The Ides of March

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It’s with great pleasure that I can recommend this film to our readers, as it’s one I was keen to see, and it most certainly doesn’t disappoint.

‘The Ides of March’ revolves around the career of press officer Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling), who has a glittering career ahead of him in American politics. Campaigning for popular Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) in the Ohio primaries, Myers finds himself caught up in a game of intricate political backstabbery with a very high human cost.

It’s a quick-paced, intelligent film with sharp (and, occasionally, blunt) twists and turns, whose central theme is that of an idealistic young man becoming jaded, cynical and ruthless as he discovers that his political heroes are less than infallible. It’s a theme which isn’t often explored. Most commentators are perfectly happy to decry politics as a dirty business without considering the idealistic motivations driving those who become involved in the first place.

The film itself is a critique of how power - and, indeed, weakness - can become corrupting influences in an otherwise good person’s life. It’s also a deep - and powerful - exploration of ‘the lesser of two evils’ concept - with Gosling, forced to decide whether he can compromise his idealism in the pursuit of his own career and political goals.

There’s a wee bit of sexiness - the chemistry between Gosling and intern Molly Stearne (Evan Rachel Wood) is palpable and extremely well done - with limited bad language, and little to no violence. Wood gives a smashing performance as an intern caught up in the sort of nightmare scenario any young woman would dread, lest of all at the centre of a political campaign.

It’s probably not one to take the kids to, but then it is a political thriller, so don’t go expecting bombs and explosions.

It’s a smashing film, with George Clooney yet again demonstrating how annoyingly likeable/clever/handsome he is in both the actor’s and director’s roles, supported by fantastic performances from pretty much everybody involved. See it.