Ides of March – 3.5 stars

George Clooney is more than a pretty face.

He is one of the rare actors who has made his career in front of and behind the camera.  Say what you want, but he has a unique talent to contend with the young whippersnappers of the acting world and the renowned stars of filmmakers.

Ides of March is essentially a popularity contest mixed with the rules of the school playground, political style.  Poster boy George Clooney is in line to be the next US President with Ryan Gosling (btw, a handsome man becoming more popular by an equally handsome man? Winner!) but Gosling’s hard work is almost tarnished by the machinations of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the villain of the piece, Paul Giamatti.

The interactions between Gosling and Clooney are interesting to watch.  The young one mentoring the veteran start on how to be a sure fire hit with the public?  It’s like role reversal or a newbie making their way through high school.  Both stand their ground, especially Gosling who has made 2011 his year.  His character exudes a charm as he knows how to make Clooney the Man yet when it comes to branching out to other people, he comes across as innocent and almost naive.

The supporting cast is equally impressive.  Between the enigmatic Evan Rachel Wood to the established indie favourite Hoffman, it is an impressive cast.  The story is believable and it is easy to get lost in the twisted web of politics.  Clooney’s direction is equally admirable.  From the confrontational scenes to the amassed campaign speeches, he never loses his focus – never drifting away from the character in question.

Altogether, Ides of March is a very neat package.  Eye candy aside, smart yourself up in this feature.

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