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Review: The Ides of March

George Clooney's new directorial effort
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 4, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

Though more contemporary than Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), George Clooney's new directorial effort seems less topical. In it he plays Governor Mike Morris, the charismatic Democratic hopeful who just needs to win Ohio to lock up the nomination. In this fantasy world, that leads to the Oval Office, since the only Republican candidates are a bunch of dingbats — though these days that seems to be the way to win. Stephen (Ryan Gosling), Morris's press secretary, believes in his man, but the Machiavellian attitude of Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the campaign manager, challenges his idealism. Even more cynical is Tom (Paul Giamatti), handler of their primary opponent; he insists that Democrats won't win until they "get down in the dirt with the elephants." Elections aren't about democracy, he says, they're about winning. Good points, but March has too many shades of Primary Colors to be otherwise relevant.

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