Esteban Gonzalez’s review published on Letterboxd:
¨There is only one thing I value in this world and that`s loyalty; without it you`re nothing! ¨
This is the third 2011 film starring Ryan Gosling and I must say he does a great job at choosing his roles because all his movies this year were really great. He also has done very diverse roles, and this time he plays an idealistic media consultant for a presidential candidate who he admires (played by George Clooney). This is a political film that teaches us how the campaign trail works, but it also has very intense and surprising moments. I`m not a fan of political movies, but the actors and the story make Ides of March a really interesting and entertaining film. It does get the message across of how dirty politics can sometime corrupt even the most idealistic and well intentioned people. Ides of March does this very well, and it couldn`t be any other way considering George Clooney directed this piece and also contributed with the adaptation of the screenplay. The last time Clooney worked on a screenplay was in 2005 when he directed the six time Oscar nominated film Good Night and Good Luck. He did a terrific job once again with the script although he had some help from Beau Willimon who actually wrote the play in which this film is loosely based, ¨Farragut Night.¨ The performances in this film are also great. You can`t go wrong when you have the talents of George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, and Marisa Tomei. This is an all star cast and the movie would be worth watching for the performances alone, but the script is also pretty strong so this is one of the films you won`t want to miss this year.
Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is working in the democratic nomination campaign for presidential candidate Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney) as his media consultant. Stephen is young, but very experienced and is the best at his position. Stephen`s boss is Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who also is his personal mentor and the campaign manager. They are currently in the Ohio primaries where the race is tight between Morris and his other democratic rival, Senator Pullman (Michael Mantell). Pullman also has a very smart campaign manager who is doing his best to keep him in the fight: Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti). Duffy doesn`t always fight clean, he is experienced and knows how dirty politics works. Paul Zara believes the key to winning resides in the endorsement from Senator Thompson (Jeffrey Wright), but Pullman`s people have made him a very tempting offer which Governor Mike Morris is not willing to counter offer. Morris is idealistic and doesn`t want to buy his way into the Presidential office by making offers to senators with whom he doesn`t agree. This is one of the things that Meyers admires about Morris: his honesty and integrity. During the campaign trail Meyers has a relationship with an intern, Molly (Evan Rachel Wood), and soon realizes that not everything is what it seems. There is a twist that I don`t want to give away here, but the movie then takes an unexpected turn. This is where the emotion begins and the movie picks up from here.
Ides of March may start off slow, but it`s just a delight to see these actors work together with a decent story. I wasn`t disappointed one bit, and even though I am not into politics I found myself drawn by the story. I couldn`t predict what was going to happen either since the movie takes some interesting turns involving deceptions and dirty politics. Even the most idealistic people can be corrupted by the political game and the movie makes its point. Ides of March is really worth seeing, even if you`re not into politics, because the story is engaging, the performances are great, and George Clooney never disappoints as a director. Paul Giamatti and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are always at their best, and these kinds of roles are where they excel. Ryan Gosling has had one of the best years of his life career wise: Crazy, Stupid Love, Drive, and now Ides of March; they`re all great films and Gosling gives strong performances in each. My favorite film this year so far is Drive, and his performance is just captivating in that movie. Ides of March is a movie you have to see, you won`t regret it.