Why Clooney won’t run for president
15 Mar 2012
George Clooney is often asked why he will not go into politics. The question came up again when I saw him at the Venice film festival. His political thriller The Ides of March, which opens in Denmark today, is his answer.
VENICE, SEPTEMBER: I have to learn to stop blushing when adressing George Clooney at the press conferences. That will be an imperative. Next year, that is, because for now the damage is done.
We have both been regulars for at least five years at the prestigous Italian film festival on the Venice Lido, but this year I am not so much smitten with Clooney’s abilities to wear a grey suit and – even more, of course – to spellbind a difficult crowd with his trademark charm, and his relaxed attitude to fame. And this is while others, such as his friend Brad Pitt, have been left almost petrified faced with the demands of what was supposed to be the cream of international press, but who at times morph into scary masses hungry for fresh celebrity. As when the Coen Brothers presented Burn after reading, calling it the third film in their trilogy of idiots, and a Spanish tv-journalist asked Brad Pitt run after her, and an Italian guy dropped his pants and declared Clooney his love. While other journalists demanded news on the then newborn Pitt-Jolie twins. And thus involuntarily confirmed the Coens’ theory that we live in en era of idiocy
No, this year, at the 68th Mostra Internazionale del Cinema di Venezia, George Clooney exceeds him self by joining the league of extraordinary American filmmakers. Featuring Ryan Gosling as Stephen, the odd idealist in politics, and a quickly rising press secretary of a governor, running to be the Democratic presidential candidate, The Ides of March depicts the mechanisms of politics, claiming that you if you want access to power, you leave your integrity at the door.
When facing a delicate dilemma regarding his loyality, Ryan Gosling’s Stephen hesitates a milisecond too long and before he knows it, he is en route to moral decay. Accompanied by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as rival press officers and the Hollywood-newcomer, starlet Evan Rachel Wood as the far too innocent 20 year old intern, this is an intriguing and well-written moral fable, that has a great – and I mean great – deal in common with masterful Tv show The Wire. Clooney himself has balls big enough to play the Democratic presidential candidate, who in Stephen’s opinion is going to change the face of America, but who soon dissapoints by being far more flawed than his obnoxious opponent in the race for the Democratic presidential candidacy.
”I have been wanting to make this film for 4-5 years, but then Obama was elected, and the atmosphere was too positive. Now is the perfect time, I think, when cynicism rules above idealism. Think about this: We have the smartest most well-meaning guy in office right now and it is impossible for him to do his job,” said Clooney, who with The Ides of March, in my, opionion shows potential to join the league of extraorinary American directors.
Maybe that’s why he was serious at the conference, not needing his usual wisecracks – except for his favourite remark – ”We have time for one more question!” after five of the conference’s 30 minutes. A remark that always leaves himself and the audience giggling.
After a series of years, where it seemed the Venice Film festival, the worlds’ oldest, by the way, was struggling for it’s life, it seems that the headline of local newspaper Il Gazzettino was actually prophesizing when today it stated:
”Clooney ignites the film festival!”
Despite his success as a filmmaker, it seems forces are still keen for him to switch career. Once again the question came up, as it usually does, when George Clooney involves himself in worldly matters:
Do you have have plans to go into politics your self?
The short answer was no. The longer answer is to be found in The Ides of March.