The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Ides of March




The Ides of March was adapted from the 2008 play Farragut North written by Beau Willimon which was loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean. George Clooney who also directed wrote the screenplay with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon. The story of corruption, blackmail, extortion and seduction behind the scenes during a election campaign does not instill any trust in our country's political system.

Stephen Myers played with that cool silent presence of Ryan Gosling is the press secretary for the campaign of Governor Mike Morris running for President. Morris is the cool candidate. He says all the right liberal things that gets people fired up looking for change. Stephen believes in Morris and still gets full of hope during the speeches and debates. One of his jobs is making sure the podium, microphones and lights will show his boss off in the best way possible. As one of the close chosen circle of staffers he works with campaign manager Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who keeps a tight control of information and the numbers during the Ohio primary. They work appeasing New York Times reporter Ida Horowicz (Marisa Tomei) who gets wind of little bits here and there keeping everyone scurrying to cover their bases. The lovely Evan Rachel Wood plays the young intern Molly Steams who seduces Stephen before revealing some sensitive news about Morris. On top of this Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) the campaign manager for Senator Pullman (Michael Mantell) pays a visit to Stephen hoping to steal him for his campaign. Confused and worried, he tells Paul about this offer. Paul paranoid, fires Stephen who swears he will make them all pay.

Tight, wordy, and smart, the film effectively shows the dedication of the volunteers and staff behind the scenes of a campaign while playing to every stereotype. Idealistic Stephen's philosophy is that he will do anything for what he believe in, while jaded Paul will do anything as long as he wins. Morris's numbers are not looking good, but he doesn't want to make back-door agreements with Senator Thompson (Jeffrey Wright) and his electoral votes in exchange for a cabinet position if he wins because it goes against his morals. Stephen won't take a job with the opposing side because he felt it was wrong. The machinations involving manipulations and compromising situations behind the scenes are disturbing as well as believable. As great as Morris sounds on TV and to the public there's a line he will cross if it means he will win. When Stephen discovers that line, he also pays the price of using it for his own gain and perhaps revenge.

After a summer of movies that rely on all action and flash, it's nice to find a film where you get to pay attention to the dialogue. It's really an actor's movie with excellent performances by Hoffman and Giamatti as the morally corrupt campaign managers. Clooney has the look of a presidential candidate, handsome, great teeth, and confidence. But this is Gosling's movie with his third great role of the year. It would have been nice to see these actors reveal more of their inner dilemmas. It seemed almost rushed to the end but it's still a good political drama, although not quite a great one.
(Review by reesa)






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