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Saturday, 21 April 2012

THIS WEEK: Four Days Inside Guantanamo / The Ides Of March

0 - Avoid at all costs
1 - Bad
2 - Has redeeming features
3 - Good.  Rent it when you can
4 - Cinema trip/Definitely see it as soon as possible
5 - You must have this movie! 


Put together by Luc Cote and Patricio Henriquez, this is a film that is almost exempt from a rating for me as, whilst it is of interest, it is barely what one might call a film.

"The interrogation recordings of the underaged Canadian Guantanamo Bay prisoner, Omar Khadr, by Canadian intelligence personnel are presented with observations by his legal representatives and former cell mates." - IMDB.

Whilst it is not a movie you would want to rent for entertainment purposes, and certainly one you would want to follow up with something a little more....cinematic, it is an important film to see, even if not quite the education I had hoped for.  2.5 / 5


George Clooney reveals the cynical, political animal within, and shows once again that he is not a bad hand behind the camera.  As good as in front of it?  Tough call, but this film goes some way to suggesting yes.

Running alongside the almost mute performance in Drive last year, this movie give Ryan Gosling the opportunity to go to the other extreme and deliver more than one line at a time.  He is Stephen Meyers, an idealist campaigner for Democrat Governor Mike Morris (played here by Clooney in a surprisingly underwritten role).  Meyers finds himself caught up in a scandal that threatens not only his career, but perhaps more importantly, his own sense of morality.

The major strength of the movie lie in the casting.  With an entire cast who overshadow Clooney, including Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, and the ever-watchable Phillip Seymour Hoffman, it could have been in a less capable director's hands and still come out doing okay.  As well as this, despite the title giving some idea as to what the implications of the story will be, the twists and turns of the tale are rather nicely handled, as well as the point of scandal itself, which I must confess took me by pleasant surprise.  It is not all roses, however; Marissa Tomei is pretty much wasted, there is little to write home about in terms of cinematography and score, and it could be said that it is, at times, more convoluted than it need be.

For what it is though, this is well worth a rent!  If you're not into American politics it may lose some interest points for you, but once you have your head around what is going on (the film does well in making this clear if you're willing to go with it), it makes for a good evening's entertainment, and perhaps also a little food for thought.  3.5 / 5

Catch if it if you like:  A Few Good Men, All The King's Men, Good Night and Good Luck.

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