The Reel Corner

Movie Reviews

Canadian born Ryan Gosling got his start from an open audition for the "Mickey Mouse Club," followed by the television series "Young Hercules." He then moved to Hollywood and started his film career. Though he has no formal acting training, Gosling seems to get closer to critics recognizing him leading the pack as an exceptionally talented actor of his generation with each of his films. He received a Best Actor nomination for his performance in Half Nelson in 2007.

In the last year, Blue Valentine, Crazy Stupid Love, Drive, and The Ides of March have demonstrated how he can handle lead roles with the best. It's said that George Clooney was so impressed with his filmography and caring spirit for the people of Darfur, he held up production of The Ides of March until Ryan was available.

Rated R
Starring: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachael Wood
Directed by George Clooney

Ever wish you could peek behind the political when Dorothy exposed the Wizard of Oz? The Ides of March gives you just that. Even though a fictional tale, it gives us an idea of how plausible dirty tricks can be. This intelligently crafted film showcases a first-rate ensemble cast. It is perfect for these cynical political times and gives just enough of a look behind the scenes of a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary. Clooney's direction, including close-up cinematography techniques throughout the film, focuses the audience's attention solely on the up and coming political image-maker (Gosling) and the moral dilemmas he faces. This technique keeps the movie tight, focused, and thrilling. Kudos to Clooney, as many are saying he is emerging as a better director than actor. Since he does both in this film, I'll let you decide.

Based on a play by Beau Williman, The Ides of March might be a little too realistic on how we elect our leaders for some viewers. However, the quality of the film, the writing, directing, and performances make this film an award contender. ***

Rated PG-13
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright
Directed by Bennett Miller

More than a baseball movie, Moneyball is based on the true story of baseball player/GM Billy Beane and the Oakland A's baseball team. Recruited in high school, Beane (Pitt) had a choice to go to Stanford University or play professional baseball. He chose baseball but never quite made it to star status. He took over recruiting for the A's, and then became their general manager. Moneyball is another behind-the-scenes film. It's the story of how a franchise with a limited budget assembles a team by unconventional methods-looking at stats differently and recruiting players other scouts consider flawed.

Charismatic Pitt brings Beane to life as he struggles with a new method of recruiting and the pressure to win. I predict his performance will be recognized during award season, no doubt. It was refreshing to see Jonah Hill in a more sober role, which he did well as the young statistical guru. You don't have to understand baseball to enjoy this film. ***

Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Wells Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. She was a 12-year member of the Hilton Head Second Sunday Film Society, and frequent visitor to the Sundance Film Festival. To support her habit of frequent movie going, Donne is an executive recruiter and staff development consultant. Are you interested in joining a film club? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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