Now this is an interesting movie. Not so much the movie itself, but what I think of it. I think it's the first movie of this year's Oscar nominees that immediately having watched it I felt a bit let down, that it had missed the mark somehow.......but I didn't post about it straight away because I busy with Mr D being ill and making this week's Sew Weekly challenge (which you can see pics of and read all about here) and the more I think about this film, the more it grows on me as better than I originally marked it down.
It's up for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, adapted from a play Farragut North, which I understand was even shorter than the story played out in the movie.
As a Brit I'm used to not being able to totally understand movies about American politics or the presidential election campaigns....although having lived in the States for 2 and a bit years now, the ridiculous nature (and length of time) that the primaries and debates and caucuses (is that even how you spell that?) are becoming more 'normal' to me. That being said, I always loved the West Wing even though the majority of the time I didn't have a clue what was going on. I managed to learn a way of letting it all flow over me and trusting that by the end it might make some sense.....the same technique I adopted for Inception last year too. But I did find the first 50 or so minutes of The Ides of March very confusing, rather boring and not particularly appealing.
Then the inevitability of human nature and human foibles enter the scene and from here on in the story and movie are pretty compelling.
The film has a stellar cast - Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Marisa Tomei.....George Clooney is very convincing and Ryan Gosling and Evan Rachel Wood are very impressive.
I'm going to try not to let loose any spoilers here. But if you haven't seen the movie and want to at some point, I'd stop reading now, just in case my attempts to not spoil it aren't as successful as I'd like to think them.
As I say, when I first finished watching I was a bit disappointed. I wanted more. I wanted to see what happened next. It felt like the movie needed a "Next Week on The Idea of March....." trailer.
But a week later, I get it (if you want to believe my version...............and warning, warning, trying not to be but will probably fail, spoiler alert).
*tries to be cryptic just in case eyes flicker towards this bit that don't actually want to see it*
I think the very end of the movie and what you think is about to happen all depends on whom you think is the Caesar of this Ides of March. I reckon you could either see Ryan Gosling's Steven as Caesar. Even though he's not a total newbie, he's still very idealistic at the beginning of the movie and though warned, he is attacked by those closest to him. If you take this view, then I suppose your view of the ending is that Steven becomes that which he despises at the end just to get by. And this is probably backed up by foreshadowing earlier on about things repeating themselves, the new intern bringing the coffee and being asked if she's a Bearcat.
However, I'd like to think (and if you try to convince me otherwise I'll stick my fingers in my ears and sing la la la not listening) Steve's our "Et tu Brute" and someone else wink wink is about to become Caesar with the stabbings and the moanings and the uncontrollable dyings.....wink wink.....there, was that vague and cryptic enough or have I spoilt it for everyone? Well tough, you were warned. Just like Caesar. Ha, did you see what I did there?
A week later and I love the ending, especially that last look directly at us, into the camera.
Would I recommend it to others to watch? Yes
Would I watch it again? Quite possibly
What did I think about the writing/script (adapted screenplay)? Liked it, once I'd taken to think about it.
What score would I give it out of 10? 8
And if you want a full list of the 61 movies up for Oscars in 2012, including their categories, I've made a list you can print off using Google docs: Tempest's 2012 Oscars Watchalong