With The Ides Of March, George Clooney Is The Man (Again) – A Saturday At The Movies Confessional

Allow me to tell you a truth that some men will readily admit to, while others will scoff at the very notion:

We all want to be George Clooney.

I have no problems revealing that to you – I mean, really, it’s a given, wouldn’t you say? George Clooney is just about the coolest man on the planet. Johnny Depp – too esoteric. Leonardo DiCaprio – can’t grow a decent beard. Matt Damon – just too damn nice. No, all us guys want to be the man who got his first real start on The Facts of Life. Go figure.

Honestly, I was a Clooney fan way back when he was playing a character named…wait for it…George, alongside Nancy, Jo, Blair and…Tootie (I just like to say…Tootie). I was a kid, not yet a teenager, and I knew then that Clooney had charm, charisma and great hair. Unintentionally, I followed him throughout his career, when he showed up on Roseanne playing Booker, who dated Jackie for a brief moment in time. And while I wasn’t a big ER fan, the show that launched him into superstardom, I did go out opening weekend to see him in his first big screen staring role as Seth Gecko in the classic vampire flick, From Dusk Till Dawn. One of my favourite Clooney performances, by the way, though I doubt with his Oscar and all that, we’ll ever see him kick undead ass again.

Clooney oozes cool onscreen and off, but the fact that he’s so ridiculously talented makes him all the more appealing to all of us. Take The Ides of March, the film he directed, co-wrote and stared in and which hit Blu-Ray/DVD this past Tuesday. Actually, just stop for a moment and think about that.

Directed, wrote and stared in. The guy is the proverbial triple threat.

As Governor Mike Morris, Clooney plays the ultimate Democratic presidential candidate, all good lucks, earnest goals and total charm. It’s another stellar performance from George, but he’s not alone in making The Ides of March one of favourite films from 2011. Girl, you may think he’s dreamy, but Ryan Gosling is more than that in the film – as Morris’ junior campaign manager Stephen Meyers, he does a note perfect portrayal of an idealist who discovers nobody is really perfect, and then deals with the consequences. There are also standout performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Working with a stellar script and Clooney and the helm, everyone delivers. While it may seem like a simple political drama, there are great moments of tension throughout The Ides of March that I didn’t expect at all.

While I’m no expert on American politics, I feel that something frighteningly accurate is captured in the film. Maybe it’s the backroom negotiations or the determination of politicians to crush their rivals, even in their own party. Whatever the case, The Ides of March had me hooked. And much of that credit ultimately goes to the man. My man, George Clooney.

We all want to be George Clooney. I have no problems admitting it. And if I can’t be George, at least I get to watch him be the coolest dude around in his films. And really, that’s good enough for me.

The Ides of March is now out on Blu-Ray and DVD. You can order it online from Amazon.ca here.  

Every Saturday At The Movies, a Biff Bam Pop contributor discusses a recently viewed film. It may be a new release in theatres, something out on DVD or just a random act of film watching. 

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