Carving Up The Thanksgiving Turkey
The Ides of March, George Clooney's cynical drama about an American presidential election, is an entertainingly bleak story of backstabbing, betrayal, lies, corruption and sexual misconduct in the camp of a brightly idealistic politician who is running to be the next leader of the free world. Clooney -- who directed, stars and co-wrote the film -- is undoubtedly being ironic by saddling the tale with such a noble title, but the notion of perfidy is well placed.
3 1/2 stars! Hmmm-hmmm.
Spoilers lie ahead, but it wouldn’t be proper to write about the film without mentioning how idiotic its plot is. For all of the “insidery” goings on and the air of knowingness that accompanies the scenes inside the campaign office, we are obliged to believe that it constitutes a major scoop when Ida finds out the Gosling character had a beer with the chief (Paul Giamatti) of the rival campaign. There are all sorts of innocent reasons why these men might meet (they are, after all, both liberal Democrats), and even in the Times it would hardly constitute a major story. What would the headline be: “Political Operatives Have Conversation in Bar”? Yet this paltry item of micro-trivia sets off a chain reaction that could have historic consequences.
The other unbelievably moronic plot element involves a slutty intern (Evan Rachel Wood) who, after a one-night stand with Gov. Morris, gets pregnant — and is unable to come up with $900 for an abortion. Her dad is a Catholic ex-senator and the head of the DNC whom she dare not ask for the money (even though, back in reality, virtually all Catholic Democrats are vehement defenders of abortion). But a girl who grew up in the upper reaches of Washington must have hundreds of rich friends she could ask to loan her $900. Instead, she goes directly to Gov. Morris to ask him for the money, which threatens to derail his campaign.