Ides of March

November 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

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While the critics were fairly split on their overall opinions of this movies, they all seemed to agree that it was a deeply cynical movie, a story of our times and, as Peter Travers of Rolling Stone put it, “a fable etched in acid and Obama disillusion.”  I expected a lot from those reviews.  I like cynicism in film, especially in political film.  I’ve known cynical films, I’ve been a friend of cynical films, and this, sir, is no cynical film.  Well, maybe that’s too harsh but I’d call it cynicism lite.  I just kept expecting more.  Nothing that happened seemed that outrageous to me; who doesn’t know those things happen all the time?  That people in the political theater are bottomlessly self-serving is hardly an Anderson Cooper special segment.   I was looking for something really conniving and cruel.  To be fair, nothing seemed remotely over-the-top.  Far worse would have been a storyline about covering up the president killing someone.  But, all of that said, the acting was terrific; Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman were all particularly good.  George Clooney was, well, George Clooney.  So, in other words, perfectly cast as a liberal senator running for president.  In fact, Clooney’s directing of Clooney doing a script that Clooney wrote, was at times nothing more than liberal porn.  In one rather (unintentionally funny?) moment, we get a recreation of the famous debate question to Dukakis about the death penalty, only George of course gives us the answer we have all been practicing in our heads for years. If we could really get a presidential candidate like that, I would kill people to get him elected.

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