The Ides of March The Ides of March © Getty Images

With George Clooney taking this year's LFF by storm, there's time for Redbull.com film critic Chris Sullivan to give us his verdict on that and Aussie shocker Snowtown before catching up with The Stone Roses as they announce their comeback.

Ides of March 

After a gruelling journey across London on a rush hour tube, I arrived at my screening at 9.15am sweating like the city’s heavyweight mayor, Boris Johnson, but was rewarded with a rather excellent film.

The Ides of March co-written, directed by and starring George Clooney is a modern drama that, based on Beau Willimon’s award-winning play Farragut North, opens the can on tawdry US politics.

A tale of corruption, ambition, betrayal, revenge and loyalty, Clooney is slimily superb as Democratic hopeful Governor Mike Morris whose overriding ticket seems to be honesty and plain speaking.

Whipping up the favourable column inches is hot shot press Stephen Myers (another cracking performance from Ryan Gosling) who reports to veteran campaign manager Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman also on top form) for whom integrity and loyalty is paramount but still thinks nothing of stepping on anyone who gets in his way.

A film that oozes great performances, Paul Giammatti wracks up another winning turn as the slippery Tom Duffy, Zara’s nemesis and opposition operation’s manager who aims to pull Myers into his camp.

Of course, all gets confused and complicated when Myers pulls the young, gorgeous and sexually precocious aide de camp Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood).

In short, a grown-up, sharp, witty and enormously incisive film that if Clooney weren’t so Goddamn handsome would single him out as a directorial force to be reckoned with.

 

Snowtown

I wish I’d have enjoyed Snowtown as much. A true story of life at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder, it tells of a gang of revolting miscreants from the suburbs of Adelaide. The focus is on Jamie (Lucas Pittaway), maybe the least vile of the crew, who aged 16 at first welcomes the arrival of John Bunting (a superb Daniel Henshall) into the home he shares with his bedraggled mum, his two younger brothers and his older brother, who in his spare times rapes him.

Apart from his bigotry, Bunting seems normal enough, but soon embarks a crusade to kill and torture as many “low lifes” as he can find until he becomes Australia’s most prolific serial killer. A disturbing and revolting film that left one question spinning round my head: ‘Why?’



 

The Stone Roses

After the screening, I went up to Soho to catch The Stone Roses’ press conference where the band announced they will be playing live next year. Front man Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire haven’t spoken in almost 15 years, and yet appeared to be the best of friends as they sat there with bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield and drummer Alan ‘Reni’ Wren grinning from ear to ear.

The plan is to play two shows at Heaton Park, Manchester, UK, on June 29 and 30 and then, according to Brown, tour the world.

I first met them when they came to see my band (Blue Rondo A La Turque) play The Ritz in Manchester. I later got to know Mani very well and he confessed that it was them who’d stolen my maracas and were influenced by us. I took that as a compliment.

 


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