'The Ides of March' Should Not Be Nominated for Any Award, Ever

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No drama this silly deserves recognition

idesofmarch gosling giamatti 615 this movie is dumb.jpg

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This morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded Ides of March, the political thriller directed by George Clooney and starring Ryan Gosling, a few plum Golden Globe nominations: best motion-picture drama, best performance by an actor in a drama (for Ryan Gosling), best director, and best screenplay. This is a problem because Ides of March, whose reviews ranged from middling to positive, is terrible. Critics have complained about the dialogue, the politics of the film, and its pacing, but the basic problem is that it insults its viewers with a series of implausible moments, where people in the film act in opposite to how people actually behave. Yes, it's a work of fiction, but it's a work of fiction about politics and human nature. Shouldn't the script reflect what politics is actually like and how humans actually are? Among the things that the movie asks its viewers to believe (spoilers ahead):

  1. That a presidential primary candidate's entire fate rests solely on whether one senator will endorse him.
  2. That a presidential primary candidate could keep a straight face while attempting to defend his atheism with this nonsense: "My religion, what I believe in, is called the Constitution of the United States of America."
  3. That a campaign operative said to be the best political mind of his generation wouldn't know that the Democratic National Committee's chairman's daughter is working on his campaign.
  4. That it would be a major news story that one campaign staffer had a drink with a staffer from another campaign.
  5. That a New York Times reporter would voluntarily leak her big scoop to Roll Call or the Drudge Report.
  6. That a campaign staffer would get fired for having a drink with a staffer from another campaign.
  7. That after being fired, the campaign staffer would nonetheless arrange a secret meeting to help his former boss secure a senator's endorsement.
  8. That this "secret" meeting would take place on a park bench, in daylight.
  9. That an ambitious presidential candidate would, when having a one-night stand with an intern, take no precautions to prevent her from getting pregnant.
  10. That a paid campaign staffer would resort to stealing campaign funds to pay for the intern's abortion.
  11. That the same campaign staffer would forget for hours (or not bother? We never know) to pick up the intern from the clinic after her abortion.

There's definitely more. Please add.

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Eleanor Barkhorn & Spencer Kornhaber

Eleanor Barkhorn and Spencer Kornhaber are senior associate editors at The Atlantic.

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