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How George Clooney gave me indigestion

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Missa on Sat Dec 17 2011, 14:18

Interesting take or completely wrong?


How George Clooney gave me indigestion
November 6th, 2011 by Dorothy Dalton

I went to see The Ides of March last night, the new movie directed, co-scripted and starring the ever easy on the eye, with of course his hallmark Nespresso smooth voice, George Clooney. Supported by a stellar cast of Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood and Maria Tomei, it seemed full of promise.

Despite covering a rather hackneyed theme, the movie still manages to be a successfully suspenseful drama, with all the intrigue and back stabbing that the title alone would suggest. The Ides of March, is the date associated with the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C , stabbed (23 times) in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, with (according to Plutarch) 60 other co-conspirators.

So grateful was I to see an intelligent and engaging drama, with tension levels created without mass bloody carnage and a profusion of foul-mouthed expletives, I left the theatre feeling that many of my movie boxes had been ticked. It was only as I was driving home that I reflected more thoroughly. Sort of like thinking you’ve just enjoyed a good dinner and then slowly getting indigestion.

The plot, set against the Presidential primaries in Ohio,charts the journey to disillusionment of Stephen Meyers (Gosling), chief assistant to Democratic candidate, Mike Morris’s (Clooney) campaign director, Paul Zara (Hoffman). Starting as a liberal idealist, he transitions to hardnosed cut throat deal maker, as he responds to events unfolding around him, where no belief is sacred if it interferes with the achievement of the end goal. The twists and turns to the storyline are provided by the usual doses of sexual exploitation, bribery and blackmail, which one has come to expect in any movie about politics, anywhere in the world , but still seem relatively fresh in Cooney’s capable directional hands.

So where does the indigestion kick in?

Despite there being many strong women in American politics today, the female roles in the movies are sadly disappointing. True, Tomei plays a tough journo who foreshadows the eventual selling out of principles, very early on in the movie. The other two characters are played to stereotype: adoring wife (played by Jennifer Ehle) in a support role seen literally in the wings and snuggling up on the back seat of a limo (not a Hillary type therefore.) The second, a sexually precocious intern (Molly, played by Wood, a Monica type) provides photocopying and other support “services” and eventually becomes pivotal to the denouement of all the characters. As the protagonists scramble to protect their careers and ambitions, they descend into the murky pool of compromise and the jettisoning of principles, where the end comes to justify the means.

Strong performances are delivered in an understated way by all, although Gosling is more convincing as the slick, back-protecting, deal-maker Meyers, than the gullible hero-worshipping idealist. The character of the predatory 20 year old intern is also not totally credible as a “victim” who would act so extremely, although that has nothing to do with Wood’s performance. Hoffman and Giametti are superb as the jaded spin doctors, cynically calculating the odds. Clooney – just seems to play himself!

Why this one?

Why pick out this movie as one which doesn’t make any effort to protray any sort of gender balance or even show politics as it is? There are hundreds of other films you are going to say and you would be right. Much screen time is given to the liberal break- through policies of Morris et al (presumably reflecting many of Clooney’s views ) while his own political machine runs true to conservative, gender based stereotypes. It was simply because I expected better from the man billed as Hollywood’s critical, liberal ambassador George Clooney. The last scene of the movie shows another young female intern serving coffee and flirting with a male campaign manager. Are there no male interns, flawed women politicians or campaign managers to be found in Ohio or surrounding areas?

The subliminal message is one of our times: no lessons learned and business and usual.

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Missa
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How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Lighterside on Sat Dec 17 2011, 15:01

Well, I would tell Ms. Dalton that in my opinion, one of the purposes of the film is to illustrate that very point she's lamenting; about how we women think we've come so far, yet underneath it all, women are still viewed the same way in certain respects and we still have very far to go to achieve true equality with our male counterparts.

Films are generally a comment pointing out our social environment/issues, not the answer to all of our problems.

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Katiedot on Sat Dec 17 2011, 16:09

I can kind of see her point but she seems to be overdoing the hand wringing.

I struggled a lot with Rachel Evan Woods' character and could figure out her motivations.

I guess the film was about themoral choices made by one may (Gosling's character) and how his character developed over time, so not sure what relevance having female politicos etc in the film would have made.

It was very much a man's film but then, so is politics. Clooney is holding up a mirror to what's happening, not what we would like to have happen.

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by it's me on Sun Dec 18 2011, 12:08

I agree: denouncing

think at the coffee carrying thing

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Missa on Sun Dec 18 2011, 13:57

I think it's an interesting question. The film certainly does hold up a mirror to politics as it exists; each of the characters certainly has a few real-life counterparts you could point out. If you were writing it with the idea of changing typical roles for women, though, Paul's character could have easily been written as a woman. That would have made for an even more interesting story, since that type of role isn't usually reserved for actresses (can you imagine, Meryl Streep or Kyra Sedgwick or Viola Davis in that role? Fabulous!) I know George was adapting a play and simply carried over the characters as they were, but there could have been some changes made if opening up the ideas of the kinds of characters women can play was a consideration. That is clearly not a consideration of Hollywood in general, so I don't blame George for not making it a priority.

At the same time, though, he does have a lot of power to get films made. He does make very male-dominated films, with female characters that are quite stereotypical or non-existent. He's in a position to change things, but i do't see it happening. I would never expect George to make a film like The Help, which was adapted and directed by a man. Seems like, in film as in life, George would rather be around the boys.

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Dexterdidit on Sun Dec 18 2011, 23:57

I have noticed that too. George doesn't stray far from the stereo typical female roles. Maybe in time, but then I think his perception on females would need to change as well.

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Cinderella on Tue Dec 20 2011, 12:56

I pray that he changes... If not for himself, at least for the women around the world who follow him. IMP (Is My Prayer)

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by MyGirlKylie on Tue Dec 20 2011, 14:46

Dexterdidit wrote:I have noticed that too. George doesn't stray far from the stereo typical female roles. Maybe in time, but then I think his perception on females would need to change as well.

Yeah Right

This may be a generalization but it seems like some men that were raised with old fashioned values don't seem to know how to handle successful, powerful women or just women in general who want to be treated as equals. They were raised to believe (whether by words or by example) that women had a place and it wasn't at the head of the table.

No matter how far we've come in terms of equality, there is a hint of cavemen in all of them that would love nothing more than to drag the woman back to his cave to do whatever he wishes. Lets blame it on that Y chromosome and say its defective. Wink

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by cindigirl on Tue Dec 20 2011, 15:16

MyGirlKylie wrote:No matter how far we've come in terms of equality, there is a hint of cavemen in all of them that would love nothing more than to drag the woman back to his cave to do whatever he wishes. Lets blame it on that Y chromosome and say its defective. Wink

Damn that male testosterone. If men think they have it over the female chromosone, they've got another think coming. Hey guys, women rule and don't you ever forget it. Don't forget we've got the boobs!!!

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by MyGirlKylie on Tue Dec 20 2011, 17:48

Exactly! Women rule the world, we have what they want. We just let them think they are the ones running the ship. Mu-hahahaha! Twisted Evil

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by cindigirl on Tue Dec 20 2011, 17:57

This goes back to what Betty White said - don't say grow a pair of balls - balls are soft and sensitive. Say grow a vagina. A vagina is tough and can take a pounding. LOL

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by MyGirlKylie on Tue Dec 20 2011, 18:02

I freaking love Betty White. I love you

LOL

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by melbert on Sat Dec 24 2011, 17:01

Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman laughing her ass off!

MyGirlKylie wrote: This may be a generalization but it seems like some men that were raised with old fashioned values don't seem to know how to handle successful, powerful women or just women in general who want to be treated as equals. They were raised to believe (whether by words or by example) that women had a place and it wasn't at the head of the table.
I believe that George was "raised" this way kind of. Even though I believe that Nina is a VERY strong woman, she allows Nick to "be at the head of the table". She is content with him being the head of the family, but she has her own strengths. I believe that George admires successful, powerful women who WANT to be treated as equals, but he still has to be the "head" of the relationship.

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

Post by Pari on Sat Dec 24 2011, 17:18

Typically, from what you've explained, that seems like a very "Indian" / "Asian" family Mel... Very Happy (OUCH!) I believe, it is also universal... yes, I have seen this happen in some other cultures as well... Smile All sacred territory! Smile However, in my humble analysis, I see that George's understanding of being the "head of the family" might be very different from that of Mr. Nick Clooney... Smile Behaviour-wise, George seems to have digressed from who he basically is at the core... one of the reasons why I thumped in on "George-The Man" on the Cookie Aisle at one time...

What I also see among women raising "their boys"... and no, this is NOT about Mrs. Nina Clooney... is that they tend to compromise a lot more in their teaching of this philosophy in the family, especially when it comes to their sons... as in the practical application of it... Eg: A "wife" will always want for her "husband" to be faithful... She might even "demand it" in some situations Smile However, when her son brings home a string of girlfriends, you know, into "affairs" / "conquests" / "fun times" / whatever... she will always buy it in for him saying "Oh he is a red-blooded male Honey" or whatever... Very Happy Like he was born out of some green blooded creatures!!! How many women do this today, around us, at the "foundation level" I mean...? And then we expect for the son to turn out like the father... HOW could he???

Again... not holding anyone in particular... just thinking out loud Very Happy In some other situations... it is the exact opposite... where the son / children, would end up teaching his father/parents faithfulness of sorts... Haa... the wonder of "The Family Tree" Very Happy

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Re: How George Clooney gave me indigestion

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