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Category: George Clooney

Oscar update: Beware, 'The Ides of March' and George Clooney

The-Ides-of-March

Release of the trailer for George Clooney's "The Ides of March" comes at a fortuitous time — just as news breaks that it will open the Venice Film Festival in a few weeks. Often that's a flag that the film will be a major Oscar contender ("Black Swan" opened the 2010 fest), but sometimes not ("Burn After Reading," 2008).

Too bad Clooney recently confessed that Oscar campaigning makes him feel "unclean." He's got quite a bit of that ahead of him this season. The upcoming Oscar derby looks a lot like Clooney's dash in 2005 when he had two ponies in the race –- one that he co-wrote and directed (best picture/director/screenplay nominee "Good Night and Good Luck") and "Syriana," which earned him the Academy Award for supporting actor.

Clooney directed "The Ides of March" and cowrote it with his "Good Night" partner Grant Heslov. It's a drama about a liberal politician (Clooney) and his idealistic campaign worker (Ryan Gosling) in the race for U.S. president and will premiere in theaters just as the real presidential race heats up. Clooney also stars in director Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" as a man struggling to reconnect with his daughters after his wife is in a boating accident.

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Oscar campaigning made George Clooney feel 'unclean'

Photo: "The Ides of March." Credit: Sony Pictures.


Oscar campaigning made George Clooney feel 'unclean'

Syriana

Disgust over Oscar campaigning has propelled George Clooney to devote more energy toward humanitarian work in poor nations.

Clooney told Marie Claire magazine that he focused heavily on charity work in Sudan in 2005 after growing weary of seeking recognition for his acting achievements.

"I had just come out of Oscar season, and you really do campaign, like kissing babies," he said. "By the time it's over, you sort of feel unclean. You want to do something that makes you feel better."

After visiting Sudan with his father, he donated money to build a well and huts, but his generosity backfired.

"A year later, the next-door villagers — who wanted water and needed shelter — killed some people to get to that well and shelter," Clooney said. "It's devastating. We have to be very careful. Sometimes helping is not throwing money at a problem."

George encourages other Hollywood stars to pitch in and help.

"There is more attention on celebrity than ever — and there is a use for that besides selling products," he said. "We can't make policy, but we can 'encourage' politicians more than ever before."

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: George Clooney won an Oscar for supporting actor in "Syriana" (2005). Credit: ABC.



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