Saturday, March 09, 2013

The final shot

Just watched George Clooney's Ides of March again. That last shot, where once idealistic Ryan Gosling silently stares into the camera while listening to the candidate's platitudes in his head and wonders what they've both become, reminds me of another final scene …

Michael Clayton, where George Clooney is alone with his thoughts in a cab, wondering what he's become.

Clooney directed Ides of March after working with Tony Gilroy on Michael Clayton, so I don't think the similarity is an accident. I suspect it's an homage. A risky one, at that.

It works more successfully in Michael Clayton because Michael Clayton is simply a better movie than Ides of March. It's about something, whereas Ides of March is at heart just a thriller, so that self reflective last shot feels inauthentic. And Ryan Gosling -- hottie though he is -- is not yet actor Clooney is and Clooney -- hottie though he is -- is not yet the director Gilroy is.

Still, it was an entertaining movie to rewatch and I enjoy Clooney's career soooo much. The boy ingenue who was a supporting character on The Facts of Life has turned into a movie-making presence. The new Robert Redford. (Not that the original Robert Redford is done. His new movie, The Company You Keep, will be in limited release next month.)


  1. I need to re-watch Ides and Michael Clayton. I hope my George continues to develop his acting and directing skills. I want him to become "the ultimate" that I know he's destined to be.

  2. I LOVE Michael Clayton. The fact that I want to date George Clooney may have something to do with it, but I could watch that one over and over. I liked Ides of March too, but haven't gone back to it like MC.
    Good post.


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