Sunday, 15 April 2012
Political Jiggery Pokery
An idealistic campaign strategist, played by Ryan Gosling, get mangled by the machine in George Clooney's solid political drama, The Ides of March. During a Democratic primary campaign our talented young protagonist finds himself squeezed by two old hands, played by Seymour Hoffman & Giamatti, and struggling to cope when personal matters unravel his careful plans. There's plenty of nuance to the performances, even Clooney puts in a decent turn as the smug but tainted politician, and it's a well crafted film but it's just a little unremarkable, the plot proceeds along familiar lines and the denouement is understated to a fault.
Maybe it's the events of the last US election that paled The Ides of March somewhat, what with the Sarah Palin's bewildering ascendance to the national stage and it's that rise is the subject of Game Change, a HBO special. Julianne Moore does a great job of portraying the ambitious and empty headed candidate and has Woody Harrelson & Ed Harris supporting (as Steve Schmidt & John McCain respectively) but the film takes a docu-drama approach to the chronicling of the barmy events and though it's definitely worth a look, especially if you're into yank politics, I was a little disappointed just how even handed the filmmakers were, eschewing most of the obvious laughs for a more sober look at the facile character of a woman catapaulted by ambition into an arena well beyond her ken.