Ryan Gosling [Stephen Meyers] is found swimming skilfully in the political pool, the beating heart of George Clooney’s [Senator Mike Morris] campaign to become the Democratic presidential candidate. Meyers’ ideals and aspirations for his country are perfectly encapsulated by Morris; he is wholeheartedly committed to the hope his Senator represents, and indeed the campaign. Then the phone rings.

What is only the passing of a few days centred about this turning point, the film and its string of interactions and repercussions has as all fearing the coming of ‘the Ides of March’ at one point or another. In the cold, sleepy Ohio, a great deal is going on. Several deals.

A quick-fire delivery of the route from A to B, to miss a step with a lapse in concentration would spoil the spectacular tension the film is able to construct. And of course, it is not that straightforward. By way of any other letter at hand, any deal and any sale of principle, A gets to B without grace or just. The film makes clear to its characters and audience: you will be left behind if you refuse to play along.

You may think you know where you stand as the story progresses, and then someone will remind you of your place – in too deep, and so far from what you saw waiting ahead. Left to question everything being spoken, this is the film’s amazing ability to make you believe in these people. And believe, all are flawed. You are not sure what to make of how kind the galloping plot is to them. You don’t have time to think anyway. The stakes? All high. These are the people on our screens, the figures we assume fit to run our societies. Those we vote for with the all the weight of our hopes and dreams. And they are just like the rest of us.

Jack Cullis