Western Courier

‘Ides of March’ highlights corruption

A.J. Swenson Courier Staff

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“The Ides of March” is a political thriller that came out last Friday. It highlights, above all, political corruption. However, what sells the film is the cast of Academy Award winners and nominees who serve as the main draw for the film.

In the movie, “Ides of March” refers to March 15, the titular day when the events in the film occur. The Ides of March has to do with Julius Caesar and the day he was assassinated by his disloyal best friend. Loyalty is a big theme in the movie. Also, March 15 is the date of the Ohio primary, when Gov. Mike Morris (George Clooney) hopes to claim the Democratic nomination for president. Helping him achieve this goal are Senior Campaign Manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Junior Campaign Manager Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling).

While the story centers upon the governor trying to win over Ohio, Gosling has a bigger role in this film. Stephen is a rising star in the political world, and his talents become recognized by the opposing Democratic candidate’s campaign manager, Tom Duffy (Paul

Giamatti), who tries to recruit him to the opposing side.

The story also centers on

Stephen’s loss of morals as his

idealistic views toward doing the right thing become tarnished by the reality of politics.

The action doesn’t really rise

until halfway into the film. A strong sense of development among the characters’ concerns and their relationships with each other takes up the first half of the film so the audience can feel the emotional impact once the backstabbing begins.

The number of Oscar-nominated actors within the cast is amazing, but the amount of talent on display is even more exciting. The five primary members of the cast – Gosling, Clooney, Hoffman, Giamatti and Marisa Tomei – each get his or her own chance to shine in the film.

Hoffman portrays the veteran campaign manager who values loyalty above everything else. Giamatti is the scheming opponent who loses most of his humanity within his profession. Aware of Stephen’s intelligence and skill in politics, Giamatti’s character strives to pull him toward his side with the thought “either I have him or

nobody does.”

Tomei is the assertive New York Times journalist whose definition of “friend” is anyone who will give her a great story.

However, this movie is all Gosling’s. According to the New York Times, “Gosling shows the most development and is very convincing as the audience views Stephen’s transformation from a wide-eyed idealist to a cynical realist.”

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‘Ides of March’ highlights corruption