(P.S. I will link out to videos and such later… I promise)

OMG, I have not been this tired in a while 😦

I want to say that the reason I didn’t sleep was because I ate right before I went to bed, but I’m honestly not sure.

See, since I didn’t get my break at work yesterday, I ate lunch/dinner as soon as I got home around 4:00. So, by time Castle was almost over around 10:00, my stomach was growling. I wasn’t going to eat anything since I would be going to bed soon, but I was hungry, so I had a croissant and some trail mix. Cut to me trying to sleep and watching my clock go from 11:45 to 12:30 to 1:50. Then, right as I was about to drift off, I felt my leg tense up and I knew I was about to get charley horse. It wasn’t the worst one I’ve ever had, but I was just so upset that I wasn’t sleeping and that it hurt that I felt like screaming. I didn’t, but I was not a happy camper. (My worst charley horse experience happened in undergrad… both my legs cramped up at the exact same time. I was in so much pain I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.)

Today was my day off and I was up before 7:00 am. I dragged myself upstairs and have been yawning ever since.

I had a semi-productive day. I did go to the DMV (or whatever they call it here) to take the written part of the driving test so I could get a MN license. I have taken written tests 6 times by now (thrice for my temps, and then once apiece to get my licenses in the 3 states I’ve lived in), so I am a freakin’ expert by now. I was done with my test in about 90 seconds. The guy next to me was not impressed… he was there before I was and I finished way before him (it was a computer test). I don’t understand how people wouldn’t be able to pass that sucker with flying colors. It’s all common sense. I did get one question wrong, so I only got a 97%, but still… I passed. Yay me

After that, I went back home and read for a bit while my mom mowed the front lawn. Then we went and saw Ides of March.

(SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen Ides of March yet)

So, this was not the greatest political movie of all time, but I dug it on so many levels.

First of all – I think George Clooney is an excellent director. Of his four films, this is tied for first with Good Night, and Good Luck. as the most visually stimulating. While Ides of March cannot really compare the the GORGEOUS black and white amazingness of Good Night, and Good Luck., it does have its moments of cinematic gloriousness.

One of the early shots of Ryan Gosling’s character reminded me a lot of one of the most famous shots/the movie poster from Robert Redford’s film Quiz Show (1994). (For the record, Quiz Show is my second favorite film of all time… and if you’ve never seen it, then you are seriously missing out.) The shot in Ides of March was of Gosling from behind, standing up a a podium. It was a medium shot, and the camera was positioned low and tilted slightly up. This image really stuck with me because of it’s similarity to the shot of Fiennes in his booth in Quiz Show.

Another shot that really stuck out to me was Gosling’s silhouette against a huge American Flag. Even though this was a kinda obvious/cliched shot, it was still powerful and it actually worked.

Major props to Clooney for directing himself in a very anti-Clooney role. Clooney’s Michael Morris was not the upstanding person everyone thought/wanted him to be. It was really fascinating to see how Director Clooney lit/portrayed Actor Clooney. George Clooney is a great enough director (and likely not a self-centered person) to know how to best capture his own performance as a crooked politician. I admire how Clooney showed the various sides of Morris.

I honestly didn’t know the whole plot of the film before I stepped into the theater today. I had seen the trailer a few times and a bunch of commercials. What I read/saw made it look like Gosling’s character was the main “bad guy” because he was flip-flopping between campaigns. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the film exposed several more seedy plot lines which ultimately revealed that every major (and even several minor) character was crooked in some way, shape or form.

I hate politics. I have always been turned off by people fighting over power and trying to impose their beliefs or platforms on others. I greatly dislike politicians who spout on about various platforms in order to earn votes, only to renig on their promises at a later date.

So, it was super interesting for me to see Clooney’s character’s arc. For most of the film, I could identify with his politics… his character was in support of a lot of stuff I support. But then, oh boy, but then, it comes out that this family-man of a politician schtupped a 19 or 20-year-old intern and got her pregnant. BUH-WHAT?!

See… Clooney’s Michael Morris was set up to be the Obama candidate. He had an Obama-esque campaign poster. Hell, the “O” in Morris was the same shape as the “O” in the Obama posters.

But of course he couldn’t just keep it in his pants. (UNLIKE Obama… because as far as I know/am concerned Obama is a respectable and responsible family man who has not had an affair. Which is just one of many reasons why I really respect our current president. He actually does seem to be an upstanding man, in addition to a seemingly honest politician. But I digress…)

The Morris/intern affair was not the main plot of the film, but it certainly added drama and was a plot point that drove/assisted other plot points.

Even though the whole cast of this film was stellar (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marissa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Clooney, etc…), this film belonged to Ryan Gosling.

I live a Ryan Gosling appreciation life.

Yes, he is ridiculously good looking. But even more important is he is a ridiculously brilliant actor.

I walked away from both Drive and Ides of March thinking to myself that Ryan Gosling is not only an amazing actor, but he’s an amazing reactor.

I studied acting for a little bit, I watched Inside the Actors Studio religiously, and I read a bunch of acting books. I’m not the best actor, by any means, but I feel confident in being able to recognize the talents of other people as well as grasp the concepts of what it takes to be a good actor. Acting isn’t just saying lines. It’s becoming that character. But in a scene, it’s not just your character… it’s your character and the other people within that created world. In other words; it’s not just acting, it’s reacting to the people around you as well as your surroundings in general.

Ryan Gosling is an amazing actor. He completely embodies his characters and makes each of them completely different from other characters that he’s played. But, more importantly (to me, at least), Gosling is an amazing reactor. Most of his best moments in Ides of March were when Gosling’s Stevie was listening and reacting to another character. His eyes are beyond expressive and he has the complete ability to think as his character. You see those wheels in his head turning in real time. You see his eyes widen. You see those tears form. You watch his jaw clench. You see his nostrils flare. It’s not him showing off his range of emotions, though. It’s him totally experiencing them as his character. His performance never feels forced – it never feels less than completely authentic.

I have been a Ryan Gosling fan for over a decade now… ever since Remember the Titans (2000). His movie choices have been interesting, to say the least. Here are the ones I’ve seen (clips are either trailers or my favorite RG scene…):

Remember the Titans (2000)

The Believer (2001)

The Slaughter Rule (2002)

The United States of Leland (2003)

The Notebook (2004)

Stay (2005)

Half Nelson (2006)

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Blue Valentine (2010)

Drive (2011)

Crazy/Stupid/Love (2011)

Ides of March (2011)

While all of these are not great movies, they are totally worth the watch for Gosling. He’s very capable in comedic and dramatic roles and I just really respect his acting skills.

Well… I’m gonna go watch TV and read. I have to work tomorrow, but only for a little bit. Hopefully I’ll sleep tonight

Have a good one