Intelligent film dissects the vagaries of politics - The Ides of March (M)

THE Ides of March is the day on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman senate in 44 BC – so you can imagine it is not a propitious title for a film about a politician.

He is Mike Morris (Clooney), the governor of Ohio who is running in the Democratic primary elections, tilting at becoming his party’s presidential nominee. 

His liberal values – pro gay marriage and anti America’s dependence on oil – are shared by his young press secretary Stephen Meyers (Gosling), who works under the auspices of Morris’s seasoned campaign manager Paul Zara (Hoffman).

Stephen is cocky, warding off powerful journalists like Ida Horowicz (Tomei), but he makes a couple of fatal blunders. He accepts a call from the opponent’s campaign manager Tom Duffy (Giamatti) and agrees to a meeting that will prove heady but dangerous. And he indulges in a casual affair with a young intern, Molly Stearns (Wood).