The Ides of March

I can probably count the number of visits I’ve made to the cinema since I became a mother on the fingers of one hand – and that was seven years ago.

It’s not that I can’t go; it’s just that it gets quite expensive when you’re paying a babysitter. So I have to rely on long-haul flights or DVDs to catch up on the latest releases or recommendations from friends and family.
My father-in-law, for instance, is retired and, without the responsibility of work or children, is now a good source of what’s on and what’s good. Which is how we came across The Ides Of March, a political thriller directed and starring George Clooney.

I tend to work on the theory that if you haven’t ever heard of a film with a big star name, then there’s probably a reason for it – but in this case the film about a charismatic senator running for the Democratic presidential nomination disproves that theory.

Not that the film says anything particularly original – one critic said it was wrung through with post-Obama disillusionment and it certainly taps into the current antipathy towards politics and politicians.

Ryan Gosling plays an idealistic young staffer who believes his candidate (Clooney) is “the real deal”, only to discover as the movie goes on that he is as flawed and as compromised as anyone else in his position.

I'm not sure this should come as a surprise to any of us: we ask far too much of our public figures and then damn the whole breed when someone doesn't live up to our unreasonable expectations.

But it makes for a good film while we wait for that real-life Jed Bartlett to come along...