Decoding <I>The Ides of March</i>: Who’s Who in George Clooney’s Political Drama

The new political drama The Ides of March, directed, co-written and starring George Clooney, is technically based on Beau Willimon's 2008 play, Farragut North, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's more of a ripped-from-the-headlines roman à clef. Almost everything about this moderately involving, but ultimately underwhelming film -- from the characters to the central story arc (which follows a presidential aspirant whose campaign is almost derailed by a sex scandal) -- seems to be modeled after real-life situations and individuals. That feeling is further driven home by the occasional appearance of recognizable figures like Charlie Rose and Rachel Maddow playing themselves in small cameos.

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