George Clooney’s classy new directorial offering looks at the battle for personal integrity in the media-saturated bear-pit of the American political process. Ryan Gosling excels as a hotshot young campaign executive who is a true believer in his candidate, a charismatic eco-friendly Democrat governor (played with canny, too-slick charm by Clooney himself) who promises a bright future if he wins the presidential nomination. Gosling’s agile enough to survive in the cutthroat environment of spin and counter-spin – with Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman both in fine fettle as rival media wranglers – but one late-night phone call brings a shock revelation which puts his job and his political faith on the line. The intrigue piles on from there, as Clooney lets his splendid cast take the strain, delivering a twisty yarn with enough authenticity to feel like we’re getting the inside scoop. Entertaining and committ ed, this has a welcome 1970s feel to it. Alan J. Pakula for the iPad generation, anyone? (Notes by Trevor Johnston).