|$||70.1M||Star Trek Into Darkness|
|$||35.7M||Iron Man 3|
|$||23.9M||The Great Gatsby (2013)|
|$||3.2M||Pain & Gain|
|As of May 22, 2013|
Stephen Myers (Gosling) is Governor Mike Morris' (Clooney) junior campaign director. He handles media matters and appearances. He is well recognized as the best in the industry despite being only thirty years of age. Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) heads the behind the scenes campaign management and both internal and external polling (like a David Axelrod or a Karl Rove). Together they make a formidable team that threatens their opponent's chances of eking out a primary victory.
The opposition's chief of staff is Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti). Duffy is a guileful veteran that has more than a few textbook tricks up his sleeve. He knows what buttons to push and how to allure Myers' curiosities. The beat reported covering all of the primary stories in syndication is Ida Horowicz (Marissa Tomei). Ida is not above petty blackmailing to obtain a story. She is in the middle of the politicians' mind-games and wheeling and dealing. A self-professed "best friend" to all candidates and their staffers when a story is forthcoming, Ida is their worst enemy when their mouths are sealed shut.
Overall, the Governor's campaign has a nominal lead in the polls. Rush Limbaugh's "operation chaos" (inciting republicans to vote for the weaker presidential candidate in the early primaries) threatens to dismantle Morris' Iowa primary hopes. The only way for the Governor to secure victory is to promise a cabinet position to a local senator in order to garner the majority of the delegates' support.
Enter Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood), a coquettish twenty year old campaign intern working for Morris. She vehemently pursues Myers and seduces him in a seemingly innocuous way. Myers is more than flattered, he is taken by her beauty and ostensible kindness. Moments after their second romantic encounter, at 2:30 A.M., Molly receives a call from the Governor. Apparently, despite having had steamy sex with the campaign manager, she is pregnant with the Governor's child. Making matters even more combustible, Molly is the daughter of the DNC chairman which is arguably the most prominent public position held by any democrat during election seasons.
Every character seems to stir the pot until it boils over and becomes a scalding cauldron filled with flaming political porridge. Myers' ideals and principles are shot to hell and he becomes embroiled in what has the potential to become a scandal so gargantuan it could derail not only Morris, but all democrats in their effort to take back the presidency.
The Ides of March is rather sadistic. The characters are thoroughly political beings. Each member of the Morris staff cares about only one thing, winning. It does not matter who they have to trample on or whose lives they have to destroy to achieve the desired outcome, because winning is all that counts. Gosling's character is brilliant because it exposes the nauseating underbelly of politics in a way that the American people can relate to. There are no politicians as pure as the driven snow. Everyone has baggage, and none of us are infallible, except for the pope, and the irony is he had to be elected by fallible religious leaders to achieve that untouchable designation! For those of you closely following the Republican primary, the presidential primary debates, and President Obama's approval numbers et al, I strongly recommend The Ides of March. The film is exemplary of modern politics, though perhaps a little outdated. It closely resembles the 2008 election (along with John Edwards' baggage) and does not seem in touch with politics in 2012. Gosling, Seymour Hoffman, Giamatti, Wood, Clooney and Tomei are flat out awesome. What a complete production from top to bottom. Two American flags up, it is officially election season!
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