Directed by: George Clooney. Having seen most of Clooney’s other directorial efforts, and being a big fan of his and of Ryan Gosling, this movie was a no-brainer. It seemed like it would be a sophisticated, cynical political potboiler about modern American politics, and I’d pretty much say that’s what The Ides of March is. To me, the film works because, even though it’s in many ways just a re-telling of the classic tale of a naive idealist harshly soured by the cruel realities of the world—and the political world, no less—here, Clooney has moulded the old saw to fit our modern situation quite well. Gosling carries the film as best as he can, but, surrounded as he is by such an amazing cast of veteran dramatists, Gosling is still too inexperienced to really hold his own with those actors, as talented as he is. But to be fair, the guy really has his work cut out for him in this film. He has to share the screen with the amazingly believable performances of its cast including Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood and Clooney himself, who gives a frighteningly true-to-life rendition of the empty rhetoric and buzzwords of an ideal Democratic presidential candidate who also embodies all of the intractable flaws and shortcomings of the modern electoral process. I would certainly count this as among Clooney’s and Gosling’s better films so far.