AMBITION SEDUCES. POWER CORRUPTS.
Shortly ahead of a Democratic presidential primary in Ohio, Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris’s (George Clooney) junior campaign manager (Ryan Gosling) learns a few lessons about the difference between ideology and politics. Clooney and his crew expanded Beau Willimon’s play (which was based on the 2004 Howard Dean campaign) and turns it into an exciting and relevant portrayal of innocence lost. Brilliantly cast throughout; Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti make the most out of their seasoned, cynical campaign operatives and Clooney is the right person to play this governor. Well-directed, but its central conflict is a little too familiar.
2011-U.S. 101 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver. Directed by George Clooney. Screenplay: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon. Play: Beau Willimon (“Farragut North”). Music: Alexandre Desplat. Cast: Ryan Gosling (Stephen Meyers), George Clooney (Mike Morris), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Paul Zara), Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei… Jeffrey Wright.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, who was originally considered for the lead role. Several real-life media personalities play themselves.
Last word: “I suppose if you’re a Democrat you’ll like the beginning of the movie best, and if you’re a Republican you’ll like the end best. It walks that line of picking on everybody. If it is a political movie, it’s a political movie without pressing a specific agenda, and that was what was important to us.” (Clooney, Emanuel Levy)