A morality play with politics as a backdrop. Halfway during the movie it takes a turn which I think is a good continuation of personal drama while keeping the atmosphere tense. To have continued the first part of the story line would have just turned it into another political drama which it essentially isn’t.
Though not entirely original, the movie’s aesthetics stand out and leave much to the audiences imagination instead of spelling it all out for you. Clooney is an intelligent guy and it shows, as there’s no attempt to dumb you down or insult your intelligence whatsoever.
Ryan Gosling carries the lead well. And all other performances are good too. I have to admit though that when Paul Giamatti’s face came on I was like ‘Ugh it’s him again acting all natural”. And yes, Philip Seymour Hoffman was good, but I kept thinking that he was young only for a little while before turning grumpy, playing grumpy parts. What I mean is that the famous faces distract. I like Milos Forman’s approach to cast only memorable faces and performances in order to make the story shine. Of course George Clooney is no Milos Forman.
Marisa Tomei’s part lacked depth and couldn’t rise from its given one dimensional character however much she tried.
Surprisingly to me, yet not, was that the borrowed Ron Paul talk by Clooney was hit and miss and not entirely convincing. Another reason why, while starting out as a political drama and not ending like one, is actually a good thing.
At least for this film.