Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Et tu, Gosling?

The first question that probably comes to mind after Ides of March: Is there anything Ryan Gosling CAN'T do? In three major roles this year, he's been a comedic supporting player, a stoic action hero, and now a politically-charged anti-hero negotiating the shadowy labyrinth of election politics. Not only has he shown his diversity, he's batting a thousand, showing an intensity to character development and subtlety unlike anyone in his generation.

The second question might be, what does George Clooney actually accomplish with this film? Stepping back into the director/co-producer/co-writer/supporting actor chair that he used so well in his other politically-minded (but more historically-directed) film, Good Night, and Good Luck, he's now trying to feel more immediate, more acidic, and more politically relevant with a jab at the cynicism of the political landscape. And while The Ides of March certainly has moments of cold devastation and frosty bleakness, it's hardly the whopping indictment of the system its creators seem to envision it as.