By Patricia Wright

If you go see even one political drama this October, it damn well better be The Ides of March, which is not only directed, written and produced by but also stars the silver fox himself, George Clooney. Hollywood’s resident heavy-hitting, liberal Academy Award winner outdoes himself with this collection of actors. The cast ranges from heartthrob Ryan Gosling to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marissa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, Max Minghella and Evan Rachel Wood. The film details the behind the scenes comings and goings of the presidential campaign of Governor Morris. It appears to be borrowing heavily from the Obama 2008 campaign, with George Clooney, aka Morris, making similar political promises and relying on America’s youth to get the message across. The film even has the same Shephard Fairey-esque, Obama portraits, instead substituting Clooney/Morris and “believe” on the posters. That was about all I could hold onto in this campaign drama, which lost me early on with all the jargon and talk about poll numbers, delegate counts and primary elections. Thankfully, The Ides of March shifts gears to be more about the ways in which fallible human beings make mistakes, break loyalties and deal with the consequences of their actions while under the ever-watchful eye of the American media. The film is set in Ohio and by “in Ohio” I mean in close ups of Ryan Gosling’s beautiful face. Gosling is definitely the main focus of the film and the plot centers on the turbulent relationship he develops with a young intern played by Even Rachel Wood, as well as the mistakes he makes along the way with other key players in the campaign. Overall it was an intense depiction of the political process but it was engaging and full of enough unexpected plot twists to keep even a politically ignorant English major like myself entertained. If you recall from my first review of Contagion, I introduced my rating system based on bathroom breaks. I didn’t have the urge to go to the whiz palace at all during this movie but I don’t think I’d have missed anything even if I had left the theater for a few minutes. All in all, I’d say if you love politics or more specifically if you love Ryan Gosling, then The Ides of March is right up your alley.