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The Ides of March

Directed by George Clooney

USA, 2011

Cornerhouse, 30 October 2011

The Ides of March

If Philip Seymour Hoffman is in a film, then it cannot fail to be worth watching, and so it proves here.

Still, it is Ryan Gosling’s performance that stands out.  He plays Stephen, a political advisor who goes from naïve idealist – albeit with a lot of smarts in his chosen specialism – to disenchanted manipulator.  Somehow the film feels Shakespearian, what with the uncompromising battle for high office, the betrayals and alliances based on real politics, a young woman’s untimely death.

Perhaps you could argue that Stephen’s transformation is too abrupt, but moments of crisis will burn away the superficial fluff and reveal the truth within.  And no one likes being taken for a fool.

This is a very fine film, boasting a bevy of fine performances.  Did I mention, by the way, that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s is among them?