DVD review | The Ides of March – Clooney and Gosling are a class act on the campaign trail

The Ides of March

For his fourth film as director, George Clooney plunges into the murky world of US politics and reveals some of its dirty tricks.

An intricately plotted thriller set during the race to choose the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, The Ides of March co-stars Clooney as one of the contenders, liberal governor Mike Morris, but the plot revolves around Ryan Gosling ‘s ambitious young press secretary, Stephen Meyers, who loses his naive idealism as he discovers the grubby wheeling and dealing and vicious backstabbing that’s needed to win the contest. Not for nothing does the title allude to the day when Julius Caesar was assassinated.

Based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon, the film is closer to the dark cynicism of House of Cards than the rosy optimism of The West Wing in its view of politics. The writing isn’t as clever or witty as either of those, but a powerhouse cast makes the most of every line. And with Evan Rachel Wood’s flirty young intern, Marisa Tomei’s scoop-hungry reporter and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti’s rival campaign managers also jockeying for power and influence, the twists and turns in the plot are sure to catch the viewer off guard.

Released on DVD by Entertainment One on Monday 5th March.

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