Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Review: The Ides of March (2011)

No plot? No problem. Put a bunch of selfish people in a room together and there's yer movie. There must be inherent difficulty in centering your story around a political candidate -- you have two choices, one will come across too obvious, the other too harsh. The option they go with means the fictional Democrat can't end up being too evil, so the action he's caught up in is kickstarted by a childish, puritanical overreaction to a relatively benign piece of information. Usually, a tragedy to leverage a weaker man is used fairly early on, not halfway through. This is not enough for a story. Even as a play in a box theatre, I doubt this would work. At the end, do we cheer? Do we boo? Unknown. It's hard to be conflicted about everyone getting exactly what they want when there don't appear to be any stakes on the other side. What the hell happened here? We miss the guy with all the flashy, passionate camerawork in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and the guy with the smoky, classical atmosphere of Good Night, and Good Luck. Is that guy dead already?

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