Taking Out the Trash: The Ides of March

As we are nearing the political debates and election, what better way to celebrate by taking out the trash with a political drama. This week’s movie, Ides of March, is a story about the Democratic primary and the troubles that this life can bring.

With this star-studded cast featuring George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei and Philip Seymour Hoffman (there are plenty of other great actors), The Ides of March brings a behind the scenes look to the world of politics.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of Drew Marshall’s (our political expert) favorite movies.

The story follows Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), as he manages Governor Mike Morris’ (George Clooney) presidential campaign. He has been on “more campaigns than most guys have by the time they’re 40.” He is young, talented and one of the best communicators in the nation.

We begin to love these characters, even if we may not agree with their morals or beliefs. Morris is running for the Democratic nomination and he lays out his campaign plans, which include non-combustion engines, free college with national service and gay marriage. Whether you agree or not, these characters are captivating, unique and likable (even when they are horrible and deceptive).

There is nothing more important to Stephen than his career. There has also never been a more important candidate for him. “I don’t give a f*ck if he can win, he has to win.”

This movie was based off of a play, Farragut North, which appeared on Broadway. Several of the scenes came word for word from the play. But Clooney took the screenplay, which he helped write, and was able to direct and produce this film, while also acting in it.

Meyers gets a call from Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti), the campaign manager for the opposing Democrat. After their meeting, Meyers’ life gets blown to hell. First, information from their meeting gets leaked. When he realizes that Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) leaked it to the press, Meyers gets fired from the campaign. Second, Steven meets an intern, Molly (Evan Rachel Wood). He and Molly grab and drink and have a little fun in his hotel room. After their second “date,” Ryan is up working at 2:30 when the phone rings. He finds out it was Morris on the phone, calling Molly.

This is where we find the main plot of the story

2011_ides_of_march_008“If you want to be president, you can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country, but you can’t f*ck the interns. They’ll get you for that.” Stephen says.

Now it’s his turn to make a deal. He needs to get back on the campaign and he has to convince the Governor to hire him.

This movie has such a fast tempo and moves through the Ohio Primary quickly. You really feel the 24/7 tempo of the political and media world.

There is so much that I have left out of this review. It would be incredibly difficult to cover it all and to do it justice, the only way to know how good this movie is, is to see it.

Watching this movie, and then listening to the commentary, I fell in love with this movie (which is impressive since I hate politics). This movie goes through so many changes, very quickly, and all of the characters change. Gosling, especially, goes from the top of the world, to the bottom of the food chain and then rises back, all he had to do was lose his soul.

Regardless of this, the last scene makes the entire movie. It leaves you speechless. Stephen walks into Xavier University to do an interview after getting the nomination. He gets mic-ed up and then is asked a question.

The simplicity of the ending, along with the enormity of the story leads this question to be immense. I love this movie and I think it is worth watching, especially during a political election.

Rating: 8.3/10

Images from Youtube and MovieHodgepodge

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