The film follows a campaign making a hard push for the Democratic Primary, as whoever wins this supposedly has a guaranteed shot at winning the election. Mike Morris (Clooney) is the candidate, a personable governor who seems to have a pretty solid platform.Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is his right hand man, and Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), the movie's main character, is his inimitable media guy. The election hangs on getting the endorsement of an influential, delegate-heavy Ohio senator (Jeffrey Wright), and both sides are desperately wooing with cabinet positions and the like. Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti), who has Paul's capacity on the opposite candidate's team, is simultaneously trying to win Stephen over to the other side. And, all the while, Stephen is finding time for romance with his connected intern Molly (Evan Rachel Wood, who is poorly directed in excruciating scenes), who ends up being pivotal.
A technically sloppy yet narratively calculated and blasé configuration of confrontations and one-liners, "The Ides of March" ends up failing to fulfill the potential intimated by the opening minutes. When was the last time a movie like this was even somewhat incendiary? "Michael Clayton" broke the mold for brainy nostalgic '70s-style thrillers; Clooney unfortunately tried to strike gold twice. C