Review: The Ides of March (2011
It's really not worth it.
So empty it will make you sad, not from seeing a sad story, but a sad, sad film itself which can't know the story.
Is it sorry?
(First use of star rating system. 1 star is not the lowest. There are also half stars, this could have been given no stars or half star out of five. 1 star = 2 / 10, or 20%.)
Brash, brazen, soulless political intrigue thriller that is content, orientation and human perspective hungry. And, if you somehow give in and have sympathy somehow, the hungry film will eat you instead. It makes cynical people. I suppose even most of them will not be aware.
The basic thing to say about this film, which I've read even of those who appreciate the film say, is that it has no depth. Actually nor even really anything in there at all. There's nothing in there, if you think, if you look. (But you don't have to. Don't bother, I advise, check out something else. The good reviews for this one are fallacious.)
It is based on a true story and so it's all the more annoying that a decent opportunity to tell that humanly was wasted, thwarted and subverted in case anyone else was interested. Like a decent Made for TV company - that would be good. It's the kind of thing that kind of film company would make well, and there are a good number of good Made for TV film companies and there have been excellent films made and I often think how well they do with very tricky subjects. Some excellent, really top films are in that domain.
No, this thing is really annoying. It's the script, yes, you can't escape that's the basic screw up with this version of telling the true story. But things get worse after that - most of the acting is juvenile, falsely testosterone filled, attention seeking, vacuous entirely. Like prima donna premier footballers whose talent vanished years ago, Gosling etc. know the script is a trashy waste of a decent opportunity for a film and so they dishonestly divert your attention to give the whole piece a crappy 'page-turner' suspense flavour. You're supposed to need to know how it ends. But it doesn't matter, if you do care and think it matters, you'll have missed that there's nothing even interesting or out of the ordinary anyway about nearly all of what made you sit to the end waiting for something to happen.
There's nothing really going on, if you look. Nothing in that film is really out of the ordinary. The things which happen, until close to the very end, are all, one suspects, typical and mundane for political campaigns. Mundane anyway, for anything. Where's the interest anywhere there? No, the true story would only succeed if set to film through a deep character examination of a couple of the people, of course especially the main character, here played by Gosling. The Ides of March, though is a tough-kids-go-stage-and-'arts'-and-want-you-to-suck-their-loins-because-they-can-do-no-wrong-they-say pile of nonsense. It's really bad. It's really dishonest as how it's made probably will actually hide it's emptiness and pointlessness and that even the subject but for one incidental occurence near the end is completely uninteresting and not worth five minutes in a feature film costing £1000, let alone many, many millions of dollars. (Again, unless a character approach had been taken, but this film takes a serious and particular cardboard shapes approach, intentionally, it seems.)
Gosling really is awful despite how the guy typically tries everything to get you on side but has so much going on, most of the masses he tries to brainwash probably won't notice. (Are there hidden auto-suggestions in Gosling's films? I always feel like that's all that I've been seeing.) Seymour Hoffman is bad but at least shows he knows, has realised the thing is going nowhere fast and actually nowhere, and feels there's nothing he can do with his role in the company at that time.
There are two show stealing, excellently acted performances in minor roles by Paul Giammati and Evan Rachel Wood. But they are so distinct from the rest of the film that they appear to be actually laughing at it or pleaing for anyone reading a resumé afterwards not to blame them for being connected with the uncountables around them. Funnily, director Clooney also acts very well in his tiny cameo role appearances - blink and miss nearly - but unfortunately he was responsible for the waste of space that is the rest of the film.
Don't see. It's not worth it. It is most highly cynical and tripe and even if you are aware to that - most will not be, unfortunately, most want to buy anything that big names spew out - it will still be an effort not to be made cynical by the film when you are just watching it to see what they get up to and what they make of things. Again, it's not really worth it. Go try something that may be worthwhile. Everything in this film is fraud, it respects not honesty.