The reason why I wanted to see this film in the first place, was because I liked the trailer. I thought a film about apolitical campaign could be interesting. The backstabbing actions from different campaign leaders and their press officers against their competitors. And of course the actors: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Unfortunately, my expectations were too high. Yes there were some mean actions from both sides (the Democrats vs. the Republicans) but untill 2/3 of the film the story was quite boring in my opinion. Untill his point it’s just campaigning and meetings. It is from the moment the press officer from the Democrats, Stephen, (Ryan Gosling) gets contacted by campaign leader of the Republicans things get heavy. Not long after that he discovers a scandal which includes his Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney). You really see how these dirty politics effect the young Stephen and he really feels bad about it. The acting is really good from his side! During the film there is a lot of amazing interaction between Stephen and his boss, the campaign leader, Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Though they had some problems along the campaign, at the end Stephen only has something against the Governor.
I think it’s kind of sad that the young Stephen, who had good intentions and only wanted to do things he truly believed in, falls for revenge, backroom politics and manipulation at the end. For me, it’s also not entirely clear if he reveals the scandal he discovered in front of the camera at the very end. Also starring: Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei