|The Ides of March|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Clooney|
|Based on||Farragut North|
by Beau Willimon
|Music by||Alexandre Desplat|
|Edited by||Stephen Mirrione|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$76.3 million|
The Ides of March is a 2011 American political drama film directed by George Clooney from a screenplay written by Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon. The film is an adaptation of Willimon's 2008 play Farragut North. It stars Ryan Gosling and Clooney alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood.
The Ides of March was featured as the opening film at the 68th Venice International Film Festival and at the 27th Haifa International Film Festival, and was shown at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. It received a wide theatrical release on October 7, 2011, and grossed $76 million worldwide. The film received positive reviews from critics and was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2011. Gosling earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance, while Clooney, Heslov and Willimon were nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Stephen Meyers is the junior campaign manager for Governor of Pennsylvania Mike Morris, who is competing against Senator Ted Pullman in the Democratic presidential primary. Both campaigns are vying for the endorsement of Senator Franklin Thompson, who controls 356 delegates; these would clinch the nomination for either candidate. Meyers is asked by Pullman's campaign manager, Tom Duffy, to meet in secret. Meyers calls his boss, Morris campaign manager Paul Zara, who does not answer. Meyers decides to meet with Duffy anyway and Duffy offers him a position in Pullman's campaign; Meyers refuses. When Zara calls back, Meyers does not tell him about the meeting.
Meyers starts a sexual relationship with Molly Stearns, an attractive intern whose father is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Meyers admits to an angry Zara that he met with Duffy, who said that Pullman will offer Thompson the position of Secretary of State in exchange for his endorsement. Zara and Meyers discuss the matter with Morris, saying they must make the same offer to Thompson. Morris refuses on principle, as he thoroughly disagrees with Thompson and his policies, and wants a "clean" campaign without such deals.
While Molly is sleeping, Meyers picks up her phone by mistake and finds that Morris is trying to call her. He discovers that Molly and Morris had a brief sexual liaison several weeks previously, and Molly is now pregnant with Morris' child. Molly needs $900 for an abortion, but cannot tell her father because her family is Catholic. Meyers helps her with the money but warns her not to tell anybody and fires her from the campaign to make the problem go away. Ida Horowicz, a reporter for The New York Times, reveals to Meyers that an anonymous source leaked his meeting with Duffy and that she plans to publish an article unless Meyers gives her the details about the Morris campaign's overtures to Thompson.
After dropping Molly off at the abortion clinic, Meyers goes to Zara for help. Zara reveals that he leaked the meeting to Ida with Morris' approval as a pretext for firing Meyers over his purported disloyalty. An angry and desperate Meyers offers his services to Duffy, who says he met with Meyers only to influence his opponent's operation, under the likelihood that Meyers either would come to work for him or would be fired for taking the meeting. Meyers offers to sell out Morris but Duffy declines, believing Thompson's endorsement of Pullman is assured. Duffy apologizes for using Meyers and advises him to quit politics before he becomes a cynic like Duffy.
Having been told that Meyers had threatened to take down the campaign, Molly fatally overdoses on pills in a hotel room. Meyers comes across the scene and steals her phone. Unbeknownst to the Morris campaign, he meets with Thompson to set the conditions for his endorsement and his delegates. Meyers confronts Morris and gives him an ultimatum: Either give him Zara's job and offer Thompson his post, or Meyers will go to the press with Molly's purported suicide note and expose the affair, all but assuring Morris' reputation tarnished and Pullman getting Thompson's endorsement. Morris relents, giving up what is left of his personal integrity, and meets Meyers' demands. Zara takes his firing philosophically and is amicable when he chats with Meyers at Molly's funeral.
Thompson officially endorses Morris, making him the de facto Democratic nominee. Promoted to senior campaign manager, Meyers is on the way to a remote TV interview with John King when Ida Horowicz ambushes him and says her next story will be about how Meyers delivered Thompson and his delegates and got his promotion. He reacts by having security bar Horowicz from entering the auditorium. Meyers takes his seat for the interview, just as Morris finishes a speech about how integrity and dignity matter. King then asks Meyers for insight as to how the events surrounding the primary unfolded.
- Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, Morris's junior campaign manager.
- George Clooney as Mike Morris, Governor of Pennsylvania and a Democratic presidential candidate.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman as Paul Zara, Morris's campaign manager and Meyers's superior and mentor.
- Paul Giamatti as Tom Duffy, Ted Pullman's campaign manager.
- Evan Rachel Wood as Molly Stearns, an intern for Morris's campaign and Meyers's love interest.
- Marisa Tomei as Ida Horowicz, a reporter for the New York Times.
- Jeffrey Wright as Franklin Thompson, Democratic Senator from North Carolina.
- Max Minghella as Ben Harpen, a member of Morris's campaign staff.
- Jennifer Ehle as Cindy Morris, wife to Governor Mike Morris and the First Lady of Pennsylvania.
- Gregory Itzin as former Senator Jack Stearns, father of Molly Stearns and the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
- Michael Mantell as Ted Pullman, Senator from Arkansas and Morris's opponent in the Democratic primaries.
In October 2010, Variety reported that Clooney signed on to produce, direct, and star in the film adaptation of Beau Willimon's Broadway play Farragut North. Exclusive Media Group, Cross Creek Pictures, Smoke House Pictures, and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions financed the film. Filming in Cincinnati, Ohio began in February 2011 in Downtown Cincinnati at Fountain Square, Over-the-Rhine historic district, Northside, Mount Lookout, Xavier University, other neighborhoods and at Miami University's Farmer School of Business and Hall Auditorium (Miami University and Hall Auditorium are located in Oxford, Ohio). Principal photography also took place in Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan. On March 14, filming began at the University of Michigan and included 1,000 extras.
The theatrical release failed to recognize Cincinnati in the credits as a filming location. Producer and screenplay co-writer Grant Heslov said that "the omission of Cincinnati in the credits was an inadvertent mistake, something that slipped through the cracks." He also said that the credits would be corrected for the home release of the film.
The Ides of March premiered on August 31, 2011 as the opening film of the 68th Venice International Film Festival. Sony Pictures Entertainment bought the distribution rights for the United States only, while Alliance Films bought Canadian distribution. Sony wanted Clooney to keep the play's title, but The Ides of March was picked as the title. The Ides of March was originally planned to have a limited release in December 2011 and a wide release in January 2012. However, Sony eventually moved the film's opening date to October 14, 2011. This was later moved again, to October 7, 2011.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 84% based on 243 reviews, with an average rating of 7.38/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "While not exactly exposing revelatory truths, The Ides of March is supremely well-acted drama that moves at a measured, confident clip." On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally positive reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Some critics gave the film mixed or even negative reviews. A. O. Scott of the New York Times wrote, "it is difficult, really, to connect this fable to the world it pretends to represent. Whatever happens in 2012, within either party or in the contest between them, it seems fair to say that quite a lot will be at stake. That is not the case in The Ides of March, which is less an allegory of the American political process than a busy, foggy, mildly entertaining antidote to it."
|Awards Group||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|84th Academy Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon||Nominated|
|65th British Academy Film Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Philip Seymour Hoffman||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon||Nominated|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|Casting Society of America||Outstanding Achievement in Casting for a Studio or Independent Drama Feature||Ellen Chenoweth, Amelia McCarthy||Nominated|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|Actor of the Year||George Clooney (Also for The Descendants)||Nominated|
|Actor of the Year||Ryan Gosling (Also for Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love.)||Runner-up|
|David di Donatello Awards||Best Foreign Film||Nominated|
|68th Venice International Film Festival.||Brian Prize||Won|
|Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards||Best Film – International||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay – International||George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon||Won|
|Best Actor – International||Ryan Gosling||Nominated|
|69th Golden Globe Awards||Best Picture – Drama||Nominated|
|Best Director||George Clooney||Nominated|
|Best Actor – Drama||Ryan Gosling||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon||Nominated|
|Hollywood Movie Awards||Hollywood Editor Award||Stephen Mirrione||Won|
|National Board of Review||Top Ten Films||Nominated|
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||Chairman's Award||George Clooney (Also for The Descendants)||Won|
|Producers Guild of America Award||Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures||George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver||Nominated|
|World Soundtrack Awards 2012||Best Score of the Year||Alexandre Desplat||Nominated|
|Best Soundtrack Composer of the Year||Alexandre Desplat||Nominated|
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