Oct 162011
 
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

“The Ides of March” is a tight political thriller that reveals the rougher edges around one man’s rise to power.

There’s no Caesar or Brutus, but the political intrigue and tragic drama essentially draw from the same mold as Ancient Rome.

Ryan Gosling (yes, he’s in another movie) stars as Stephen, a Democratic primary campaign manager for Pennsylvanian Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney), a man who seemingly does and says all the right things.

As far as the intrigue goes, “Ides” is one of those movies that hinges on a central plot twist, one that throws everything else on its head.

Therefore, it is best to know as little about the story as possible, so as to not have anything given away.

So does the story work? Yes, for the most part.

Plot twists are delivered with a cold, inaffectionate touch that is comparable to the tone of a Daniel Tosh monologue.

Story-wise they work, but their impact is weakened in delivery.

This makes “Ides” frustratingly hard to connect with, ultimately reinforcing the fourth wall that bars the audience from entering.

However, the movie is packing an all-star arsenal of acting talent, which makes up for the majority of minor faults that are found.

The aforementioned Gosling and Clooney share screen time with the pro talents of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei.

These actors’ performances keep things interesting until the story picks up later in the film.
Another solid aspect of the movie is Clooney’s direction. He has only directed a few films, but “Ides” marks a strong step in the right direction for him.

And even though the story doesn’t have the strongest delivery, it provides a fascinating look behind the scenes of what goes on behind closed doors.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

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