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