Thursday, October 6, 2011
Cincinnati Shines in The Ides of March
The last time a major Hollywood movie was shot in Cincinnati was in 1987. You might remember the movie, Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. The film went on to receive several Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman. Wouldn’t it be funny that more than 20 years later George Clooney’s newest movie, also shot in Cincinnati, would win an Oscar for Best Picture?
George Clooney is a hometown boy, who grew up here in the 1970s. For several years, he has been looking for an opportunity to shoot a movie in Cincinnati. This one might just pay off big time.
He was attracted to the Ides of March, which is essentially a political drama, because, in some ways, it was a personal story. The issue of politics always comes up when talking about George Clooney. He is heavily involved in social activism. You may remember Clooney’s work to stop the atrocities in Darfur, Sudan. And, of course, he’s gone on the record to label himself as a liberal. So there’s no question that Clooney is extremely political. But talking about political issues wasn’t his main motivation in making this film. Clooney has been quoted, “Some people will think this is some long civics lesson, but it has very little to do with actual politics and much more to do with what happens to any person who gets involved in the back rooms.”
George Clooney plays Mike Morris, the fictional Governor of Pennsylvania. Morris believes he can make a difference and is running in the hotly contested Democratic Ohio primary for president. Steven Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is Morris’aid and press secretary who is both idealistic and ambitious. Days before the primary, Meyers considers switching to the rival campaign which could end Morris’s run for the White House. The film plays out in the backdrop of double-dealing, dirty campaign tricks, misinformation and backroom deals. Candidate Morris has to decide how far he is willing to go in order to win the primary. What kind of deals does he have to make?
His father was pretty devastated when TV ads were aired that demonized him as a Hollywood elitist. The elderly Clooney was shown wearing an army jacket, round John Lennon style glasses, and holding a joint. He was also embarrassed and demoralized by the entire process of seeking campaign funds and the type of people you had to hang around with. Personally having grown up here in Cincinnati, I can tell you for a fact that the ad definitely misrepresented Nick Clooney. He is anything but a Hollywood elitist.
I have a feeling that the Ides of March is going to be a powerful film. I think all of us here in Cincinnati are proud that George Clooney decided to shoot his movie here. It makes perfect sense considering the upcoming election and the role Ohio plays as a swing state in determining the outcomes in national presidential elections.