Whilst hardly reinventing the wheel in terms of political thrillers, The Ides of March confirms that the US Presidential race is much more exciting and, well, sexy than our British equivalents.
Of course, it's not that difficult when People's Sexiest Man Alive (1997 and 2006) is directing and co-starring as a smooth, suave Democratic candidate. The best us Brits get is Hugh Grant as Prime Minister in Love Actually.
Man of the moment Ryan Gosling plays Stephen Myers, a junior campaign manager and media guru, who is working with Paul Zara (Hoffman) to get Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) elected as the Democratic candidate in the next Presidential election. He is smooth, slick, has experience on the campaign trail but his youthful cockiness and naiviety could prove his undoing with a beautful young intern (Wood) and rival campaign manager Tom Duffy (Giamatti).
Ides has been accused of lacking depth but I felt the script had a lot of snap, crackle and pop, a surprising amount of humour and there is, what feels like, some thinly veiled criticism of Obama's performance so far as Clooney's Morris describes what kind of candidate he doesn't want to be and his stance on certain policies.
The Ides of March is not only a entertaining night out at the cinema but also perfect for anyone needing to fill the void that was left when The West Wing ended.