MV5BNTU4MjkzNTY0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDI5ODIxNg@@._V1_SX214_What’s it all about?

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Which is fair enough as far as it goes.

Why did I want to see it?

Well, we had planned to go and see The Monuments Men but for various reasons, mostly an attack of bleh, we decided to stay at home and watch one of the many DVDs we’ve had for yonks and not yet got around to. The Book God had bought me The Ides of March as a Christmas present and it seemed right to replace one Clooney movie with another. And there was the added bonus of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the opportunity to note the passing of a great actor. And *whispers* I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Ryan Gosling film *hangs head in shame*

What did I think of it?

I enjoyed this very much. It was a proper intelligent grown-up film with strong performances and although some have found Gosling’s performance lacking in heart I thought he was exactly right. All the stuff about his character being a true believer and therefore an idealist is undermined by everything that happens in the film and his actions after the unfortunate key event are consistent with his ambition which overrides any moral imperative he may have thought he had.

I think that makes sense; it does to me anyway.

The only person I had any sympathy for was Molly (played by Evan Rachel Wood) who was incredibly naive and hugely taken advantage of; the rest of them were playing a game, albeit one with enormous stakes.

Clooney is a pleasure when he is playing ambiguous, Paul Giamatti is always worth watching and this film just showed how excellent Seymour Hoffman was, and I shall seek out more of Gosling’s work. Would happily watch this again.