Movie Stats & Links
||George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson,
Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack
||They'd probably be
bored out of their skulls.
||If they appreciate
a detailed thriller.
||Tilda Swinton is
in a bra, but not in a sexual way. Just some talk
||People die and a
car explodes, but as weird as it sounds it's not violent.
||Not a lot of
chasin' going on.
||The ending is
||The phone rings
and the dude goes to Michael "Is that the police?" "No, they
Jennifer Fox, Steven Samuels, Kerry Orent
At the end of "Michael Clayton," as the credits started
to roll, they show Michael Clayton (George Clooney) just
sitting, reflective, in the back of a New York City cab, as
he just handed the driver fifty bucks and told the driver to
just drive until itís used up. I didnít stick around for the
entire credits, and I highly doubt it did happen especially
for how serious the movie is, but how perfect would it have
been if, at the end of the credits, George Clooney looks
directly into the camera, sticks out his tongue, and grins.
I guess thatís why Iím not a filmmaker.
A Movie Review
Hereís the storyÖ
Michael Clayton is whatís known in legal circles as a
"fixer," the guy first called when high profile clients do
something stupid, i.e. drunk driving, hit and run, etc., to
get the ball rolling to minimize the damage. He works at a
high-powered law firm that is representing U/North, an
agrochemical company in a class-action lawsuit for making
some chemicals that killed some people. The lead attorney is
Arthur (Tom Wilkinson), and rather than take his meds he
goes slightly crazy, and as we find out, has actually been
working to sabotage the case because he knows U/North is
So the firm calls on Michael to get Arthur under
control, but Michael is having his own problems at the same
time, namely trying to be a good dad, save his ass from a
bad bar investment, try to stay in control of his gambling
problem, and wrestling with his own conscience. Meanwhile,
Karen (Tilda Swinton) chief counsel for U/North, is pulling
out all of the stops to protect her company and her
reputation, and finds herself immersed in an unfamiliar
world of covert operations.
I think Iíll just leave the movie synopsis at that
because detailing any more starts to give away some major
plot points, and for this movie, being a suspense flick,
itís all about not knowing too much before you watch the
movie to be able to enjoy it. The wonder I do have is other
than critics (who have been praising it), and film buffs, I
donít think the average movie-goer, at least not todayís
average movie-goer, will like the film that much. The reason
I say that is "Michael Clayton" is a suspense/thriller/drama
in the highest sense of those terms, with multiple story
lines, lots of slower-paced moments developing those story
lines, and even though thereís that scene of Michael running
through the woods in the trailer, I will spoil it a tad
saying heís not being chased which is what a lot of
moviegoers would want.
The thing is, "Michael Clayton" is a really good movie
for what it sets out to achieve, and the movie has some of
the best performances of the year, from Tilda Swinton
showing the apparent toughness of her outside persona to the
debilitating inside persona knowing the courses of action
she has set in motion, to Tom Wilkinson portraying the
lawyer Arthur who some might say "loses it," but actually
just seems to be looking for his moment of clarity. And as
much as I have to be jealous of George Clooney for being the
ladies man he is, his portrayal of Michael Clayton is
nothing but perfect. From the dealings with his son, to the
dealings with his family, to the wonder in his eyes at his
career choice, to the scene with the hit-and-run dude,
Clooney lets us feel the pain Clayton is constantly going
As far as liking "Michael Clayton" I donít see too many
people coming out of the theater in the middle of the pack.
I see some people who would have rather seen George Clooney
involved in some sort of gunfight, coming out of the
thinking saying the movie is a piece of crap, while the
other group, knowing what they are getting, will find
"Michael Clayton" as a well-crafted thriller that actually
thrives because their wasnít a gunfight. Me, I liked the
film, give it 4 stars out of 5, but will understand if you
think it sucked.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!