BFI London Film Festival – Two doses of Gorgeous George – The Ides of March and The Decendents

21 Oct

I would have been annoyed if George Clooney did a John C Reilly and didn’t turn up to a festival which showcased not one but two

of his films, but luckily he didn’t disappoint. In fact, he over delivered. Having rushed from the screening of  the Clooney directed film The Ides of March to the press conference, I was so happy to find we weren’t only having a press conference with the man himself but also the incredibly talented Philip Seymour Hoffman and Evan Rachel Wood. However, I seem to have been the only member of the press attending who noticed that this Oscar winner and Indie darling were also in the room as the rest of the audience seemed (if they managed to get a question in – which I unfortunately did not get the chance to) to only be able to direct their questions to Gorgeous George. One particularly cringe moment was (apart from the double question asking George’s view on the Irish upcoming elections – please we’re here to talk film!!) when a member of the press clearly forgot the other actors names and addressed these Hollywood heavyweights as ‘members of the panel’ As Steve McQueen put it – SHAME!! These actions mirrored those in the film 360 and had an effect on the rest of us as Philip Seymour Hoffman was so annoyed that he was hardly addressed in this press conference that he flew in especially for, that he refused to do any press on the red carpet later that evening – well done journo!

Anyway – Back to the films, lets start with the big one – The Ides of March

The Ides of March

A political thriller – not something that I would normally be desperate to see in the cinema – more of a DVD movie for me. However I have to say that this film is going to be a keeper, I’m glad I saw it on the big screen as I could watch it intently without distraction and it’s probably a type of film with the ‘stay appeal’ which means its most likely going to end up on people’s DVD shelves for years to come as a ‘go-to’ movie. I really enjoyed this, lead by the sickening talented Ryan Gosling, the awards buzz which surrounds this film is very much earned. Its smart, sassy, intelligent and has a brilliant level of humour which comes just at the right time to break up scenes containing strong dramatic tension. Its cast is a goldmine of talent: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei – you know you’re onto a winner when you’ve got them on board.

The film looks at the inner working of a campaign. The media minds and the politics behind the politics – is nice guy Mike Morris (Clooney) really that nice? Can Gosling be bought out by the opposing side? And what does loyalty in this situation really mean. It’s a game of chess expertly directed by Clooney (who sees his twilight years behind the camera rather in front) who has offered to the table a feast of top class acting, engaging dialogue and a story full of game players and no winners. It for me brings the resurgence of great political films back to the silver screen – proving that we may have had a thirty year gap of missing good films of this subject, but with a film like The Ides of March, it was most definitely worth the wait.

The Descendents

I like Hawaii. I like the idea of it, that it represents happiness and people throwing their cares away as they play lazy on the beach as the sun shines brightly above them. As we see from Alexander Payne’s (About Schmidt, Sideways) offering, he immediately focuses on the non tourist/commercial view of Hawaii and what its like to be living there – in the real world. This glimpse is not the main focus, in fact this story is one of family George Clooney’s character’s family, and the few days they take to come to terms with the untimely death of his wife following a boating accident. I think this film will divide audiences depending on your own personal experiences with grief, and handling such situations.

Although I enjoyed the film – it has some brilliant humour which will get you laughing till you cry – having gone through quite a similar situation in my own life, I found the characters slightly ridiculous, farcical and unemotional. Next to me in the cinema was my colleague Rosanna, who also went through similar circumstances, but unlike myself, dealt with her situation in the same manner as the family in the film, so found it hilarious and incredibly touching and moving. Two very different opinions, neither of which criticised the mechanics of the film, its well written, clever, well cast and entertaining. The content however may leave audiences divided in terms of how they view the story and how sympathetic they feel towards the characters and situation.

So there you have it folks – two very different films which will appeal to two very different audiences. Both very much worth a watch and proving that at the ‘tender age’ of 5o, Mr Clooney both on and off-screen still has the charisma and charm to keep him at the top of his game for many years to come.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: