Monday, August 6, 2012

Movie of the Week – Michael Clayton

This week’s movie is Michael Clayton (2007).

The drama is about Michael Clayton, a prominent New York law firm’s fixer. Clayton finds himself immersed in a dangerous conspiracy when his friend and lead console on the firm’s biggest case has a sudden nervous breakdown. The film is written and directed by Tony Gilroy (his directorial debut), who is best known for writing the screenplays for all four films in the Jason Bourne series (he is also directing The Bourne Legacy). Gilroy worked with fantastic people on the film including composer James Newton Howard, cinematographer Robert Elswit and production designer Kevin Thompson. George Clooney stars, giving one of the best performances of his career, solidifying him as a great dramatic leading man. The supporting cast is phenomenal with brilliant work from Tilda Swinton and especially Tom Wilkinson (who gives one of the great supporting performances of the decade). Denis O’Hare, Michael O’Keefe and Sydney Pollack are good in small roles. Gilroy’s directing allows the actors to really dive deeply into their characters, much to the benefit of the film, which plays as a great character piece with tones of mystery and crime drama in addition to its main genre of thriller/drama. It was nominated for seven Oscars (winning one for Swinton) including Best Picture. I would not quite call it a modern classic, but it is among the ten best of 2007 with The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Atonement, The Darjeeling Limited, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Juno, Knocked Up, No Country for Old Men, Sunshine, and There Will Be Blood (one of the stronger years of the 2000s). It is worth checking out for fans of Clooney and political-style thrillers/dramas. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD and Streaming

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