Dayamn! Too many fresh movies on the queue lately. Well, I can't remember which movie my viewing companions compared this one to, but it isn't entirely without precedent. While Clooney's 2011 is probably not going as well as his 2005 went, it's still up there. Every three years or so he has a good year, and with the Oscars fast approaching it appears he's got the Oscar for Best Actor sewn up. Shame, really. Usually a Brit takes it. Anyway, here he plays a dude running for President, one of the seven actor roles or seven plots, something like that. For those of you who are partisans, the film does have a liberal slant, so perhaps this will be a peek behind the curtain for you. As for me, I feel right at home when they talk about how Democrats always lose, but that could be starting to change.
For whatever reason, Clooney's not the main guy here. I guess he was busy with other projects or something, but Ryan Gosling stars as the main guy, the head honcho of Clooney's presidential campaign. One of them, anyway. The smartest one, I guess. Well, Max Minghella already had his moment in the sun. All is right in Gosling's universe until he SPOILER ALERT answers the wrong phone at the wrong time. Things spiral out of control until he unspirals them back into his favor at the small cost of a part of his immortal soul. At times before the big tragedy he seems to be channeling the spirit of Happy Clooney, but things get really Oscar-worthy when the pressure's on. Something in his eyes seemed fresh to me. My God! Acting in the era of reality television! Alas, he didn't get nominated this year, but it'll happen again. Might I suggest a road movie with Peter Stormare. Sweep the Indie Awards first to go for the big gold. Marisa Tomei doesn't have much to do here, but she does what she can. Everyone's good, of course. But Phedon Papamichael? Seriously? Was Sideways that influential? I guess so.
As for the content of Clooney's stump speech, well, I couldn't help but be reminded of Damon's meltdown at the beginning of The Adjustment Bureau. Ah, actors and their political aspirations in movies. In Ides, there's plenty of red meat for liberals like me: the rich should pay their fair share, probably more; less oil, more green energy... I think that was about it. Marriage equality? Women's rights? Goes without saying, I guess. It's back at the video store already, I can't go back and check. Keep up the good work, Clooney, and get cracking on Suburbicon or whatever else Joel and Ethan have in store for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan