There’s a reason that the initial reaction to the George Clooney directed and co-written political drama has been so subdued. Clooney is so damn likeable, and charming, and affable, and amiable, that we don’t want him to feel bad. I certainly don’t. Ides of March isn’t bad. Not at all. It just isn’t Oscar-worthy. It’s flat and safe. It resembles The West Wing without the adrenaline and walk and talk. And it’s no In the Loop, and far from the political sophistication and savage wit of that movie’s blistering BBC TV predecessor The Thick of It.
No one’s bad in March: not Clooney in a key but supporting role as the Governor running for President, not Philip Seymour Hoffman as his fixer or Ryan Gosling as the idealistic staffer whose character is forged in a contested Ohio Democratic primary.
It’s just that when it comes to Oscar contenders, we’ll have to wait for that other Clooney movie, the one he didn’t direct, the one he stars in: Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. I’ll be there to see it Saturday morning — and can’t wait to fall in love again.