Saturday, January 26, 2008

Michael Clayton

I did not expect much from Michael Clayton. It seemed to be a typical evil-corporation-combatted-by-avenging-lawyer film, but that isn't what we have here. It takes a turn from the conventional and delves deeper into the minds and psyche of the characters involved. Rather than bask in the sanctimony of a valid message, it's a driven study set as a thriller. It is so multi-layered and the dialogue so rich, Michael Clayton feels like an Indie film disguised as a Hollywood opus.
George Clooney, if he hasn't established it before, does it now: He's THE leading man of the big stars. He has the look and grace of a Cary Grant with the affability and understated bravura of a Spencer Tracy. Tom Wilkinson and Sydney Pollack each revel in roles made just for them (who plays older New York mega-rich types better than Pollack?) and Tilda Swinton takes what could have been a one-note character andd makes her the most complicated villain to come around in sometime.

It's not the best picture of the year, not even close, but it's the major studios' best film of the year by far.

You know the scorecard by now, I won't even bother writing it.



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