Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood
Running Time: 96 minutes approx
Extras: Developing the Campaign, The Origin of The Ides of March ?Believe, George Clooney? On The Campaign, The Cast of The Ides Of March?, What Does a Political Consultant Do?
Ryan Gosling is experiencing a period that most actors would kill for. Following a self-imposed three-year sabbatical ending with BLUE VALENTINE (2010) he has scarcely put a foot wrong. 2011 garnered Gosling rave reviews for DRIVE, CRAZY STUPID LOVE and, released on DVD and Blu-ray this week, THE IDES OF MARCH.
Directed by George Clooney, THE IDES OF MARCH follows US Governor Mike Morris’ (Clooney) bid for the Ohio primary, and a presidential run, with his team headed by Paul (Seymour Hoffman) and Stephen (Gosling) as they deal with the trials and tribulations, the sleaze, the sex and, surprisingly, the politics involved. Or at least it should.
Based on Beau Willimon’s play FARRAGUT NORTH, the film is nothing but a stroll through the campaign that always threatens to, but never quite catches fire. Indeed the rather safe way the films subject is dealt comes as a surprise given Willimon’s experience with Hilary Clinton running for Senate in 2000 and Howard Dean’s Presidential Run in 2004.
IDES OF MARCH failings are seeping out of every polished shot and every perfectly spoken word. The film is too Hollywood, its final act almost disintegrating under a deluge of clichés saved only by Gosling. It is without a doubt his film, he carries the story in a way few others can, engaging each time he’s on screen. The task is insurmountable, even for him, given the mundane script.
Watching IDES OF MARCH made me feel a bit like Al Gore must have felt in 2000, I felt I’d won given all the elements but I was robbed by those pesky Republicans, because I’ve no doubt if it weren’t for the film makers being, seemingly, scared of offending half the US nation this would have been a much more edgy experience.
Extras: Each of the featurettes last 5-6 minutes each and are about as insightful as you’d expect given the length. Special mention to the almost vomit inducing fawning that the cast and crew give to George Clooney in the George Clooney Believe segment.