Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Ides of March

The Ides of March won't change your mind about politics or offer new insights into the morality of politics. I don't think it tries. Writer-director George Clooney is too concerned with delivering complex characters to care how you feel about them. Ryan Gosling is the lead and is in just about every scene, owning each one along the way. Rather than go with his recently maligned method acting or the minimalist performance he delivered in Drive, he plays his Stephen Myers as a charismatic lightning rod. Even when the plot knocks Myers down a peg, Gosling plays him upright, always pushing his feet forward. My only criticism, one that lowered the movie's impact, was the ending. I can't claim to be an glass-half-full type of person, but after the journey the characters soldiered through, I wanted more leeway. I wish Clooney had let us make up our minds rather than paint Myers into a corner. It might be nitpicking, but the question I've been asking since walking out of the theater is what is more interesting, The Godfather route or something more ambiguous? Is there a right answer? Maybe I'm just mad Clooney and Gosling got me to like their leading man before his ambitions got the best of him.


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