Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
What part should morality play in politics? Answer
Does character matter in political leaders? Answer
Voting—Do Christians have an obligation to vote? Answer
Should Christians seek political power or should we only focus on evangelism? Answer
wisdom verus foolishness
trials of political campaigning
|Featuring:||Ryan Gosling … Stephen Myers
George Clooney … Governor Mike Morris
Evan Rachel Wood … Molly Stearns
Marisa Tomei … Ida Horowicz
Philip Seymour Hoffman … Paul Zara
Paul Giamatti … Tom Duffy
Max Minghella … Ben Harper
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|Producer:||Cross Creek Pictures
Exclusive Media Group
George Clooney … producer
Leonardo DiCaprio … executive producer
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|Distributor:||Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment|
“Is this man our next president?”
“The Ides of March” tells the behind-the-scenes story of the presidential campaign of Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney). The entire plot takes place within the Ohio primary. His press secretary Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) fully believes in the governor and his goals for America’s future. Though both Stephen and the Governor say they will never make deals, when betrayals and the threat of loss enter the equation, moral compromises soon follow.
Though Stephen Myers is told he is naïve in having full belief in his employer candidate, campaign manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) insists that the most important thing one can have within politics is loyalty. During the primary, Stephen has a brief affair with intern Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood).
Directed by George Clooney, “The Ides of March” has topnotch talent and strong scenes. Though a bit predictable, the movie moves along at a good pace and has strong dialogue, particularly one between Stephen and Paul about loyalty. This year has proven very successful for Ryan Gosling, and of his recent films that I’ve seen, I believe this is among his best roles. The camera would often linger on his face as different emotions were silently acted out.
The main objectionable content is profanity and vulgarity. I counted over 100, including 70 “f” words, 26 sh_t, and 4 GDs. D_ck and pr_ck are used a handful of times, as well. While having a drink, Molly tells Stephens that she’s been trying to have sex with him for a while and asks if that’s slutty of her. While Stephen and Molly do have sex, they are only shown getting dressed the morning after. In a second scene, only their shoulders are shown, while lying on a bed and lightly kissing. An affair is discussed and an abortion takes place offscreen.
When the world begins to crash down around Stephen’s head, he decides to take some drastic measures. During one scene, Molly calls him earnestly, and I believe she tells him not to act like a fool. While honesty and dignity had set him and the governor apart, they soon blended in the stereotypical pollution of today’s political arena. In Ecclesiastes 7:7, Solomon wrote:
“Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.”
Though the film is well made and especially well acted, I do not personally recommend this movie. It doesn’t offer anything new. Isn’t it already widely noted or at least believed that most all politicians will go to almost any length to win? Perhaps the film’s only failure is that we aren’t given a character with whom to emotionally connect. And because of this, we are simply witnesses to the abandonment of integrity and dignity, which wasn’t really a surprise, in itself.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.