The Ides of March

Award season is upon us and I’d like to have another week off work to see all the best picture nominees and films with nominated actors. Seriously, can someone make that happen? That probably isn’t a valid excuse, even for a film fanatic like myself, to take off work but at least I have time now to catch up on reviews while at my parents’ north woods home enjoying my holiday vacation.
Last year, I made a point to see all the best picture nominees before the Oscars and I am planning on a repeat performance of that feat. Going by the Golden Globes best drama and musical/comedy lists I’ve made it through Moneyball (sigh), The Ides of March, Hugo (loved — and stay tuned for my review), Midnight in Paris, 50/50, and Bridesmaids.

I need to see The Descendants, The Help, War Horse, The Artist and My Week With Marilyn — not including films with nominated actors or those strictly on my personal wish list.

The Ides of March was definitely one of those and it and Ryan Gosling’s acting nomination have my vote. (He is also nominated for Crazy, Stupid, Love — ladies watch it).
In addition to Gosling, I think the cast in The Ides of March was one of the film’s many strong points.
George Clooney directed and co-wrote the film and based it on the play Farragut North. Clooney also acts in the film as Mike Morris, the Ohio governor in a presidential race that centers mainly on events leading up to the state’s primary in March.
I felt the play translated well to the big screen and Clooney successfully intertwined the plot lines of politics and morality.
As a viewer you wonder if particular characters are good or bad and what you would do if presented with the situations they face. At most times all the characters are competing with each other and themselves in deciding between taking actions that are right or wrong. Gosling, as campaign press secretary Stephen Meyers, faces this most of all with his external enemies being Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) on Morris’ campaign, and Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) who works for the opposing presidential candidate.
The morality battle and plot twists left me on the edge of my seat for the entire film.
I thought The Ides of March was on its way out of the theater when I rushed to see it last weekend, but now that it’s in the award nomination pool everyone needs to mark their calendar to see it.

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