Into the Abyss, directed by Werner Herzog
For some reason, it’s easy to forget about Clooney’s proficiency as a Director, having delivered such goods as ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’, ‘Good Night & Good Luck’ and possibly ‘Leatherheads’ for those that liked it. However this time, Clooney’s next cinematic endeavour is that much grander than his previous works, with it’s moderate budget and it’s ambitious advertising campaign to rake in viewers at a particular time of the year when oscar contenders like to make their appearance.
‘Ides Of March’ is a good film, that constantly holds it’s audience’s attention, which is unusual for a political thriller as most tend to burn slowly, ‘Tinker Tailor’ being the most recent of examples. However in saying that, Clooney’s latest film isn’t good enough (in my opinion) to win an oscar, or even get nominated for one, which sounds a lot harsher than intended. The plot is well constructed and formulaic in an admiring sense, with a great cast (most notably Philip Seymour Hoffman), however as the credits roll you can’t help as if something’s missing from this adequate thriller. Gosling is a strong lead, but is often overshadowed by his supporting actors who seem to embody their characters so masterfully, in particular Seymour Hoffman, as well as Paul Giamatti and Clooney. This proves a problem at times as it’s evident the film is built around Gosling’s character. The audience are with him from beginning to end, which desperately requires an unfathomable performance stamina from the lead actor, who instead gives second best attempts at moments in the film where the audience need him at the peak of his performance.
Don’t let this put you off however, It’s well worth your time, as long as you don’t expect as much as the constant advertising promises.
Probably one of the best film scores of the last 20 years.