October 12, 2011

The Ides of March-AMC Empire 25

On Saturday we visited one of our preferred theaters, AMC's Empire 25, to check out George Clooney's latest, The Ides of March. The Empire is nice because all screens are fine. Comfortable seats, stadium seating, and it's AMC so we don't spend more than $7.50 per ticket. But sometimes it gets busy, so we avoid it on Friday and Saturday nights. The audience for Saturday's 3:15 showing was quiet and respectful. At one point, someone started snoring and a group of women giggled over it, but that was it. The way an audience should be.

George Clooney directs and plays a supporting part as a smug, slick politician, curiously similar to his own persona as you see him on talk shows and in interviews. Ryan Gosling is front and center and delivers another solid performance, and very different from last month's Drive. Also along for the ride are some of Clooney's All-Stars - I think they were a team on Laff-a-lympics or Yogi's Space Race or something... they're Clooney cronies who always seem to appear together in similar dark ensemble or political themed pics, even though I don't know if they've actually worked together before. Jeffrey Wright, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Richard Jenkins and Matt Damon must have been busy, because they're not here for this one.

At first Ides of March seemed like it was going to be a behind-the-scenes account of a political campaign with no single major plotline. But after about twenty or thirty minutes, something happens and the film turns into a political thriller. That said, at the end of the film you're left with a good picture of how campaigns run and your views of politicians are reinforced, albeit by a piece of fiction.

The Ides of March seems like Oscar bait purposely released at the end of the year. While it has solid performances and a tight script, in the end it's a just a good film. I think it will be passed over by the Academy - if somehow it does get some accolades, it won't be deserved.

Erica: For what this movie was, it was good. I am not a huge fan of political dramas but the ensemble, Academy Award nominated cast, made it a good thriller. Clooney has that smile that he flashes in every movie and women flock to the theaters for. Ryan Gosling is in, what it seems to be, every movie this year and as Mike mentioned, he plays a completely different character as in Drive. I am, quite frankly, getting a little bit tired of Gosling but that may just be the Gosling-overdrive 2011 has been. He's like Jude Law circa 2004. That being said, middle aged women have plenty of eye candy in this movie and it will get some accolades come awards season, whether or not it is deserved (I agree with Mike on this one) is up to the Academy, and they love George.

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