The Ides of March (2011)
Dir: George Clooney
The title is a reference to the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated by conspiring senators. Knowing this gives you a good foundation for this film.
A political drama, it focuses on the people behind the curtain, who are coordinating the campaign for a potential presidential candidate in the Democratic primary. For those not familiar with the American political system, this is where people from the same political party run against each other to secure the nomination to then run as the presidential candidate for their party in the presidential election. It’s very important.
Ryan Gosling plays Stephen Myers, who is the junior campaign manager who it is said has ‘drank the coolade’, and fully believes in his candidate Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney). however he is warned that though Morris is a ‘nice guy’ he’s still a politician and will let you down sooner or later. Sure enough, it comes later, about 45 minutes into the film, that Myers discovers a potentially campaign-destroying secret about the Governor, which also affects him personally, and things get mixed up and complicated very quickly, with his loyalties being challenged and tested to the extreme.
Unlike something like ‘The West Wing’ it’s not about a likeable political leader, Clooney’s would-be president starts off perfectly likeable, a principled man whom Stephen Myers speaks very well of and would jump under a bus for. However by the end, you are left wondering who exactly is going under a bus, and who is pushing them there.