78. The Ides of March

Ryan Gosling continues a banner year of wonderful roles (ie: Blue Valentine, Drive) with The Ides of March where he portrays Stephen Meyers, a young and ambitious political advisor in the midst of a hotly contested Democratic Presidental primary.  Working for Mike Morris (George Clooney) who is steeped in an upcoming battle for the all-important state of Ohio, the top advisor (Paul Giamatti) of the competition offers him a spot on their campaign, predicting that Morris is about to fail without the delegates and certain endorsement of another politician.

As Stephen weighs the possibilities of jumping ship he becomes intimately involved with Molly the intern (Evan Rachel Wood) who is also the daughter of the Democratic National Committee chairman.  To further complicate matters, Stephen makes the ill-advised choice of telling his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman) about his meeting with the opposition and the story leaks to the national press thanks to a scheming reporter (Marisa Tomei).  Late one night Stephen discovers a shocking secret that could instantly end the entire Morris campaign as he is unceremoniously fired for his secret meeting.  As Stephen’s life and career are on the edge of sinking along with the Morris campaign, he must decide how he will ultimately use his knowledge of a pending national scandal.

The Ides of March moves swiftly with the drama and chaos of a real life political campaign thanks to slick and concise direction by George Clooney.   Gosling and Clooney play their roles to a tee, but Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman steal the show as ruthless and conniving political aides-and Marisa Tomei is almost always a joy to watch on the screen.  The Ides of March is an intricately layered story and basically has everything you could possibly want out of a thrilling political drama.  Highly recommended.

4 stars out of 5

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Categories: 100 Films

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