George Clooney recently debuted his latest film, “The Ides of March,” at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Clooney, who directs and stars in the flick, also did a bit of pre-Oscar conditioning.
Because the movie deals with a fictitious presidential primary campaign, Clooney had to address questions from the press on the film's political overtones.
Clooney himself had previously indicated that he did not harbor any political ambitions. However, his co-star, Ryan Gosling, was asked by the press at the festival if he would ever want to run for office. Gosling didn’t mince words. He responded with a single word answer, “No.”
The other politically tinged question that was asked had to do with whether or not Clooney had interwoven a political agenda into " The Ides of March." He adamantly denied any kind of political implications or commentary to the film, explaining that the movie represents a study in ethics.
“I don’t think that this was really a political film,” Clooney said. “I think this is a film about moral choice . . .”
However, the main character in the film, played by Clooney, is a Democrat with an extensive list of left-wing proposals including promotion of pro-abortion policies, support of the welfare state, and phasing out of the internal-combustion engine.
Clooney’s charismatic "progressive" politician is emblematic of the type of president that Hollywood liberals consider to be ideal.
The character also personifies a Hollywood liberal's vision of a centrist a la Martin Sheen’s portrayal of the commander in chief in Aaron Sorkin's former prime-time television series, “The West Wing.”
The Los Angeles Times characterized Clooney’s Gov. Mike Morris character as “a hardcore liberal’s dream candidate.”
Other film critics compared the character to a Democratic governor who ran a fiery campaign in the past, Howard Dean, minus, of course, the meltdown speech.
Clooney suggested that if the film reflects “some of the cynicism we feel today about politics, that's probably good,” adding that “we should be looking at [political] things. But it [the film] wasn't designed to do that.”
“Everybody makes moral choices that better themselves and hurt others along the way,” Clooney said. "That's universal, not just to politics.”
When Clooney was asked to identify role models on which his character was based, he chose not to name names.
“There's just so many ways to get in trouble with this answer,” Clooney explained. “There were enough examples that we just picked little pieces of whatever we wanted.”
Judging by the dramatic speeches that Clooney's character delivers in the film, Clooney appears to have amalgamated a number of real-life candidates and additionally used wishful imaginings to produce a liberal answer to the “Great Communicator.”
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and has made several appearances there on landmark decisions. Hirsen is the co-founder and chief legal counsel for InternationalEsq.com. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood: www.youtube.com/user/NMHollywood.
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