Friday, November 4, 2011

International Film Festival: The Ides of March

Last night, Time Irado attended a session of the 35th annual Sao Paulo International Film Festival in a theatre, Cinema Artplex,  near the famous Paulista Avenue. The 35th SÃO PAULO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL takes place from October 21st to November 3rd 2011 (Tonight was the last showing). The festival is a non profit cultural event, hold by ABMIC - Associação Brasileira Mostra Internacional de Cinema. The State and Municipality of São Paulo establish October as the Official month of the Festival.

We saw the film, The Ides of March, or Tudo Pelo Poder in Portuguese, starring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. (Side note, I saw Clooney's house on Italy's Lake Como last summer). The movie was in English with Portuguese subtitles at bottom for dramatic effect, or maybe so the other people could understand what was going on. It was funny because the curse words did not match up with the text but everyone was laughing before the text was even displayed. Somehow I think these Brazilians know our curse words! This was not a Shakespearean play, however had all the makings of a deceit and tragedy that good old Bill would have loved. The scene was set in the Ohio Democratic Primary, that's right I came to Sao Paulo to see Ohio on the news and in the Movies. The movie was filmed in Cincinnati, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan with many references to the beautiful state of Ohio. One of those reference was from a political campaign intern saying she was from Columbus, Ohio and she was a Buckeye from THE Ohio State University. (A shoutout to the whole 614!) I cheered internally when that line was spoken and it was if the 100 or so other patrons in the sold out theatre were cheering silently with me as well. I can tell that Sao Paulo is a city of 12 Million Buckeye Fans! The story was a very good plot line with many twists and turns (somewhat predictable) during the 110 minute run time (I clocked it at just over 95 minutes start to finish). A review from the movie website Internet Movie Database (IMDb) pegs the movie as a must see and writes the following:

Stephen (Ryan Gosling) is a razor-sharp, rising star political media consultant. Presently, he is working on Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris' (George Clooney) campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Steve-o has only one man above him, overall campaign manager Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The two consult each other daily. The governor has a single chief competitor, an Arkansas senator with his own astute adviser, Tom (Paul Giamatti). At the moment, the Ohio primary is looming and the staff is working out of Cincinnati. One of the governor's lower-level workers is beautiful Molly (Evan Rachel Wood), the daughter of the present head of the National Democratic Party. Only 20, she is just learning the ropes. One day, she makes a pass at Stephen and he responds positively. But, he makes it clear to her that politics is his passion and, especially, Mike Morris, his idol. Indeed, Morris is handsome, smart, and appears to speak sincerely and clearly to potential voters. Yet, very soon after their first encounter, Molly drops a bombshell on Stephen. It is a stunning piece of news, one that could knock the earth off its axis. Also, amazingly, Tom has been courting Stephen to "switch sides" while a respected, determined journalist, Ida (Marisa Tomei) is eager for any and all campaign stories. A cauldron of conflicting genuine and perceived realities is brewing. What will be the result? This is a fine film, based on a stage play, and directed by Mr. Clooney. While the story is more predictable in nature, the script has some great lines and Clooney's direction is quite, quite admirable. This is particularly true of the performances he draws from the cast, with Gosling, Hoffman, Giamatti, Tomei, Clooney himself, and especially Wood giving great turns. All the film's amenities, from sets, costumes, and camera work, are also nice. If you are a discriminating film buff, who loves quality flicks with ample discussion points, then I'd suggest you see Ides at your earliest convenience.

But don't take my word for it, go see the movie, I'd highly recommend it. But you can view the trailer right here at Time Irado.  I apologize in advance to my Brazilian friends, the trailer is in English just like the movie, but there are no Portuguese subtitles!

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