An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director:

George Clooney

Writers:

George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,988 ( 424)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Gosling ... Stephen Meyers
George Clooney ... Governor Mike Morris
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Paul Zara
Paul Giamatti ... Tom Duffy
Evan Rachel Wood ... Molly Stearns
Marisa Tomei ... Ida Horowicz
Jeffrey Wright ... Senator Thompson
Max Minghella ... Ben Harpen
Jennifer Ehle ... Cindy Morris
Gregory Itzin ... Jack Stearns
Michael Mantell ... Senator Pullman
Yuriy Sardarov ... Mike
Bella Ivory ... Jenny
Maya Sayre ... Sue
Danny Mooney ... Campaign Editor
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Storyline

Stephen Meyers is a young idealist who's brilliant at communications, is second in command of Governor Mike Morris's presidential campaign, and is a true believer. In the middle of the Ohio primary, the campaign manager of Morris's opponent asks Meyers to meet; he offers him a job. At the same time, Morris's negotiations for the endorsement of the man in third place, a North Carolina Senator, hit a snag. A young campaign intern, Molly Stearns, gets Stephen's romantic attention. Republicans have a trick up their sleeve; Stephen may be too trusting, and Molly has a secret. What's most important, career, victory, or virtue? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Is This Man Our Next President? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beau Willimon--the author of the play "Farragut North"--used a Washington D.C. Metro station name for the title of his play because the station is located close to think tanks, lobbyists, and other Federal government advocacy groups. Farragut North station is located on the Metro system's Red Line, just north of Farragut Square, at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and K Street NW. [10.27.2020] See more »

Goofs

When they are watching a bank of TVs, the TV on the far left has a "Local 12" lower third, but the reporter doing the stand-up is holding a Channel 9 Microphone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stephen Meyers: I'm not a Christian. I'm not an Atheist. I'm not Jewish. I'm not Muslim. My religion, what I believe in is called the Constitution of United States of America.
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Alternate Versions

Despite the fact that much of the movie was filmed in Ohio, the credits of the theatrical release only say "Filmed on location in Michigan". This was corrected for the home video releases, which read "Filmed in the state of Michigan and the state of Ohio". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.53 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Angel Eyes
Written by Earl K. Brent (as Earl Brent) and Matt Dennis
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User Reviews

 
Et tu, Brute
8 October 2011 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Political thrillers can be so juicy and filled with "gotcha" moments and "oh how could he/she" scenes. Inevitably, most come down to an "I believed in you" showdown and reckoning. This latest one based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon, gives George Clooney an opportunity to play out his political aspirations without opening himself to the real thing.

Clooney also directs and the smartest move he made was assembling an ensemble cast of some of the best actors working today. Clooney plays Pennsylvania Governor Mike Morris, who is one of two still-standing Democratic Presidential contenders on the verge of the Ohio primary. His Campaign Manager is grizzled campaign veteran Paul, played with staunch principals and black and white rule book by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Their talented and idealistic Press Secretary Stephen is played by Ryan Gosling. Their opponent's manager Tom Duffy is played by Paul Giamatti. Duffy oozes cynicism and seems to have lost the rule book that Paul holds so dearly.

The film begins with the set-up so we get a feel for just how strong or weak of character each of these men are. Morris (Clooney) is obviously an Obama-type idealist who claims his religion is the US Consitution. He says this while gently poking fun at his opponent's Christian beliefs. We see just how talented Stephen (Gosling) character is at handling the words that Clooney speaks and we see Paul (PSH) in full back room politico maneuvering.

The film has two huge points where the mood swings. The first is a contrived, definite no-no meeting between the ambitious Stephen and the shrewd Duffy. The second is a sequence between Stephen and a 20 year old campaign intern named Molly (Evan Rachel Wood), who also happens to be the daughter of the Chairman of the DNC. These two events turn the film from political thriller to melodramatic Hollywood fare. That doesn't make it less of a movie, it's just different than it began.

Cat and mouse games ensue and we see just who is the master manipulator amongst a group of professionals. This is one of those films where the individual pieces are actually more interesting than the whole pie. There are two really excellent exchanges between Gosling and Hoffman. Ms. Wood steals her scenes with ease. Jeffrey Wright nails his brief time as a desperate Senator negotiating the best deal possible. Giamatti's last scene with Gosling is a work of art. The only thing missing is a confrontation between Giamatti and Hoffman. THAT alone would be worth the price of admission.

You might be surprised that Clooney actually minimizes the political meanderings, though he does get in a few jabs at the Republicans. This is more character drama ... how far can your ideals and morals carry you. What is your breaking point? Where is the line between realist and idealist? Is it betrayal if you act for the right reason? The final shot of film is superb. Et tu, Brute.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Farragut North See more »

Filming Locations:

Oxford, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,470,143, 9 October 2011

Gross USA:

$40,962,534

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$76,338,111
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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