Thursday, July 17, 2008

Michael Clayton (2007)

Michael Clayton kicks off and runs at a furious pace. The title character, played by George Clooney, is his law firm's fixer. (What is a fixer? As defined at, it is "a person who uses influence or makes arrangements for another, especially by improper or unlawful means.") He is good at his job. When his friend and colleague, Arthur, goes off his meds (he's a manic-depressive and schizophrenic), Arthur has a change of heart about the U-North case he has lived and battled on for years. Is he delusional as Clayton points out or is he, for the first time in his life seeing clearly? That is the question.

Pay attention or perhaps watch it twice, but this is a must-see. Upon second viewing, so much more makes sense initially because you know each character's intentions from the get-go. It's an exciting and fast-moving plot and the way the pieces add up at the end, it sparkles. The casting is a show-business trifecta: Tilda Swinton opposite George Clooney opposite Tom Wilkinson.

This role was made for Clooney. He's not a favorite of mine; seems like he plays the same role a lot and just shows up. This performance was different, soulful. He becomes Michael Clayton and he is complex--conflicted, stressed, confused, lonely. Tom I have to say a word? This is one of his best (In the Bedroom and Normal also great). Tilda Swinton envelops her juicy role!

Themes: mental illness, lawsuits, corruption, corporate crimes

Writer and Director: Tony Gilroy

Country: US

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Minutes: 118 minutes

Scale: 5

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