Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’
Tipped to be a leading contender at this year’s Oscars, The Descendants follows landowner and slack parent Matt King (George Clooney) as he attempts to unite his family following an accident that has left his wife in a coma. Keeping his defiant older daughter Alex (Shailene Woodley) and her innocent younger sister Scottie in check would be a struggle as it is for Matt, but an impending land-deal and the revelation that his wife was having an affair make life even tougher.
It takes a small leap of faith to accept a less composed Clooney in what is almost a scruffy, everyman role, but he instils enough confusion and despair to thoroughly impress in the role. He’s a little overshadowed, however, by Woodley who effortlessly charts a teenager forced to grow up fast.
Set in a cinematically beautiful Hawaii, The Descendants is funny, if not on the same level as Alexander Payne’s excellent comedy Sideways, and touching, if not quite as tear jerking as it aims to be. Its bittersweet examination of composure and redemption in the face of grief is very effective, but the inconsistent pacing and loose contrivances make it an entertaining view rather than something truly remarkable.
From the current issue of Clash.
Although a central narrative examining the machinations behind a politician’s campaign to be named as the official Democratic presidential candidate might not sound like the most enticing hook for a film, the calibre of The Ides of March’s cast certainly compensates. Joining director, co-star and co-writer George Clooney is an enviable list of talent including Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei.
Clooney leads as the progressive governor Mike Morris who is supported in his race for the White House by idealistic press secretary Stephen Meyers (Gosling). So far, so staid? Certainly. Or at least it is until a young intern (Wood) complicates matters, sparking a chain of brilliantly constructed Machiavellian backstabbing that depicts the inner workings of American politics as being as treacherous as it is glamorous.
As strong as the writing is, Ides of March is dominated by an immense performance from Gosling; underneath his immediate charisma lies an unsettling able to convey the duplicitous nature of someone who needs to lie and charm – in equal measure – to prosper.
Despite its dry conceit, The Ides of March unravels a surfeit of depth as it unravels its slippery tale. Politics does indeed make for some strange bedfellows.