Veteran Canadian director David Cronenberg has regularly offered strange cinematic visions, a combination of science fiction with psychological and philosophical inquiry. They include: Scanners, Videodrome, Crash, eXistenZ, and Spider. His latest, Cosmopolis, will add to his reputation for exploring the warped and weird but won’t make my list of filmic entertainment.
The title—The Ides of March—alludes to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and its nefarious literal and figurative back stabbing in that political world. George Clooney's film of that title portends equally grim, venomous double-dealing. The good news is that it delivers as a dramatic, gripping morality tale echoing contemporary scandals in this adaptation of Beau Willimon's play Farragut North.
At a significant moment in director Richard J. Lewis' film Barney's Version, the love of Barney Panofsky's life, Miriam Grant, says to him, "Lives are made up of little things." Barney's life, as captured here, fits this apt description as well. However, it delivers its array of details in a scattergun fashion with shifting tones and styles.