George Clooney directs and co-stars with Ryan Gosling, who--after going mainstream with this weekend's Crazy, Stupid, Love--returns to gritty dramatic form as campaign hot-shot Stephen Meyers. (Prankster Clooney kept him amused on-set, however.) The movie, adapted by ex-political aide Beau Willimon from his play Farragut North, couldn't be timelier. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood also star in Clooney's return to the political side, a la his Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck. Clooney waited until the tide of the country turned sour to make the film.
A Liberal Democrat, Clooney told USA Today of the movie: "The major issues are some of the major issues we face every day, including questions of morality. We’re not trying to be polarizing." At early test screenings, he says, "Republicans hate the beginning of the movie, Democrats hate the end. So we're good."