The Ides of March
Lewd Liberal Losers
Release Date: October 07, 2011
Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney,
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul
Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan
Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright,
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 101 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: George Clooney
Executive Producer: Nigel Sinclair, Guy East,
Stephen Pevner, Leonardo
DiCaprio, Jennifer Killoran,
Todd Thompson, Nina Wolarsky,
Barbara A. Hall
Producer: Grant Heslov, George Clooney,
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov,
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Affirm Films)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
A tale of cynical ambition, the movie opens with media consultant Stephen “Stevie” Meyers (played by Ryan Gosling), testing the microphone for his candidate, Gov. Morris (played by George Clooney). Stevie is quoting a speech Morris plans to make during a debate in Ohio with his only remaining political opponent. The speech has Morris saying that he’s not running as a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim, but that the only thing he’s running on is the Constitution of the United States. In fact, he actually says, “My religion is the Constitution of America.” The speech then has Morris saying, “If you don’t like my religion, don’t vote for me. If you don’t like my policies, don’t vote for me.” Stevie keeps repeating the lines until he simply, and sarcastically, says, “Don’t vote for me. Don’t vote for me.”
The Ohio primary is absolutely vital for both remaining candidates. Stevie and his boss, Paul, hope, however, to get 300 something delegates from one of the previous candidates, a black man named Thompson. Unhappily for them, their candidate, Morris, refuses to make any backroom deals to get Thompson’s delegates and win the nomination before the primary.
Stevie, 30, starts flirting with and bedding 20-year-old Molly, the daughter of the Democratic National Committee’s chairman. While doing that, he gets a call from Tom Duffy, the political consultant running the other campaign. Duffy asks to meet with Stevie to convince him to switch sides. Against his better judgment, Stevie agrees. In the meeting, he learns that Duffy has already promised Thompson the position of Secretary of State, so Morris has no chance whatsoever of getting Thompson’s delegates.
That puts the Morris campaign in a pretty pickle. Stevie refuses Duffy’s offer. Also, when his boss, Paul, returns and tells Stevie that Thompson has refused to turn over his delegates without a cabinet post, Stevie confesses to meeting Duffy. He also tells Paul about Duffy’s offer to Thompson.
At the same time all this is happening, Stevie finds out that Molly had a one-night stand during the Iowa Primary with Morris, who’s married. Now, Molly’s pregnant, and she wants money for an abortion. Stevie agrees to take some campaign money and give it to her for the abortion and a plane ticket home.
Things go downhill from there for Stevie.
Paul and Morris fire him for meeting with Duffy. Making matters worse, Duffy says his job offer to Stevie no longer stands because all he really wanted to do was remove Stevie from the chessboard. In other words, the meeting was a complete setup because Duffy knew that Stevie would confess to Paul about the meeting and that Paul would fire Stevie for being disloyal.
Then, Molly turns up dead from an accidental or intentional overdose of pills from the abortion clinic. Stevie suddenly sees a possible way out of his mess, but how far will he go to get back into the political game of one upsmanship?
THE IDES OF MARCH has some great dialogue. It’s also well acted and well directed. The purpose of the piece doesn’t quite make sense, however.
Clooney, who also directed, has said he wanted to make a movie about making wrong moral choices. Yet, other than that, the point of the movie isn’t clear, though it appears to have a secular, humanist worldview. Thus, at one point, Clooney’s character eschews promoting any kind of religious or moral worldview. Instead, his character extols the United States Constitution, but he never really goes into any kind of detail about what he thinks the Constitution actually says. Of course, since the character is a Democrat and an extreme liberal, it’s probably safe to assume that the character has the same ridiculous notions about the document as the crypto-commie American Civil Liberties Union and the four clueless loons on the Supreme Court who now make up the liberal faction on the high court.
THE IDES OF MARCH also seems to have a major plot problem. The very first scene indicates Stevie has already become jaded and cynical about the political process and his candidate. Thus, his alleged fall by the movie’s end doesn’t seem as steep as the filmmakers appear to want. In addition, since the movie shows that nearly all the supposedly idealistic liberals have feet of clay, the movie’s moral position is confusing, if not non-existent.
This is even true in the big climactic scene when Stevie crudely tells Morris that a candidate can lie, start wars, and commit almost every other mistake, but they can’t fornicate with the intern. Even if that were true (which it ain’t if you think about the amazing survival of Bill Clinton whose infamous infidelities were excused simply because he’s a Democrat and not a Republican), it’s an extraneous comment that does nothing for the movie. This is especially true when you consider how lightly IDES OF MARCH treats its cavalier flirting and abortion situations. When you realize that people like Clooney are always trying to undermine traditional religion and traditional morality (as he appears to be doing at one point in IDES OF MARCH), but have no problem promoting really liberal and radical forms of religion and morality because they fit their incredibly partisan, preconceived views. Also, if Democrats and liberals are so morally superior to American citizens, especially conservative citizens, then why do they pepper a movie like IDES OF MARCH with so much strong foul language? Maybe Clooney and his crew should look in the mirror. Now, that would be real change!
Eventually, IDES OF MARCH appears to be a kind of morality tale about how idealism and integrity can be corrupted by personal ambition and outside forces. Ultimately, however, almost all the characters are revealed as having fatal flaws to begin with anyway. So, contrary to what the ending seems to say, it’s not really the political process that drags down the protagonist at all. Of course, Bible believing Christians have a more realistic, accurate worldview that accounts for what the movie awkwardly appears to be saying – “every inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Genesis 8:21.
Finally, both liberals and conservatives as well as Republicans and Democrats most likely will identify with George Clooney’s rants against America relying so much on Arab and Saudi Arabian oil, but Clooney wastes all that potential goodwill by having his candidate say he wants to outlaw the internal combustion engine in 10 years. This is a ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky liberal fantasy that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. In fact, no serious candidate these days would ever be able to get away with making such an inane statement. God made coal, gas, and oil for man’s use, so why not use them? Furthermore, America and Canada have so much untapped coal, gas, and oil that they could be energy independent within two or three years, not 10, and for a long time to come. Yet, liberal loons like Clooney keep promoting the spending of billions of taxpayer dollars on unrealistic and even irresponsible “alternative energy” schemes that don’t really work that well. Meanwhile, not only do taxes keep going up, but so do energy prices. Also, where in the United States Constitution does government have the power to tell Americans what kind of technological advances they can or cannot use? Nowhere, that’s where!!!
Thus, although Clooney apparently wants us all to believe that liberals support the Constitution, in reality liberals are constantly violating that selfsame Constitution. Hypocrisy, thy name is liberal!
Actually, if you really read the Constitution and research its background, you will find that it sets up a divided, limited, mixed, and republican form of national government. These qualities reflect the generally Christian, biblical worldview of its founders, who understood perfectly well that, as Genesis 8:21 clearly says, all men are basically evil. Once you understand these basic indisputable facts, as well as read the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, which talks about the “laws of nature and of nature’s God,” then you really can’t take a liberal – much less leftist – view of the Constitution.
All in all, THE IDES OF MARCH is not a really abhorrent movie. It’s just kind of silly and supercilious. Ultimately, the characters are just a bunch of lewd and licentious liberal losers. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® predicts that only mindless moderates, lamebrain liberals, and loony leftists may find THE IDES OF MARCH deep, profound, or a major work of art. That probably means, sadly, that it’s sure to get some undeserved Oscar and Golden Glove nominations.
THE IDES OF MARCH has some great dialogue. It’s also well acted and well directed. The purpose of the piece doesn’t quite make sense, however. George Clooney (who directs and stars) puts in some liberal propaganda, but all the Democrats eventually come across as foul-mouthed, lewd, or licentious liberal losers. Ultimately, THE IDES OF MARCH is not a really abhorrent movie. It’s just kind of silly and supercilious.