It's the end of August, and along with the end of Summer, it means that it's time for the Venice Film Festival, one of the biggest and buzziest in the world. There are any number of potential contenders screening this year (in and out of competition), and the 68th festival, with a jury headed by Darren Aronofsky, kicked things off with its opening night selection, George Clooney's The Ides of March. Here's a look at some early word on the political thriller, which boasts a fantastic cast and is one of my most anticipated of the year (click the publication name to go to the full review):
Variety - Justin Chang (N/A): "...wallows in its own superiority to the point where its cynical pose almost looks naive." "...the terrific cast isn't always seen to its best advantage."
Emmanuel Levy (A-): "In time, this 1970s-like movie should assume an honorable place in the company of such great American political melodramas as 'The Candidate,' 'All the President's Men,' and others..."
Time Out London - Dave Calhoun (3/5 stars): "...taken as a diverting aside on our world and with its more awkward pretensions forgiven, it's captivating enough and well-performed by a strong cast, even down to the smaller ensemble roles."
The Hollywood Reporter - Deborah Young (N/A): "...the fine cast makes every line of dialogue count..." "Classy and professional throughout, the technical work gracefully holds all the threads together."
The Guardian - Xan Brooks (3/5 stars): "What remains is your classic compromise candidate: a film that set out with a crusading zeal but had its rough edges planed down en route to the nomination."
Venice Verdict: Though a well made and well acted political thriller, The Ides of March is not quite as insightful and sharp as it aspires to be.