Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Michael Clayton

Alright, so I know this movie is old news but I just saw it last night. Despite all the awards and glowing reviews, I still did not think I was going to like this. I expected it to be heavy handed and preachy ... kinda like George Clooney. Instead it was suspenseful, well paced, and superbly acted.

George Clooney was nominated for oscar for his performance, but I'm not sure he deserved it. Don't get me wrong - he did a good job, but his performance wasn't really oscar worthy.
Tom Wilkinson, who was nominated for best supporting actor, did an amazing job. Unfortunately he didn't win it. But he should have! He was completely convincing and his intensity was fantastic. Plus he gets cool points for being Carmine Falcone (Batman Begins).

But enough about not winning oscars. Let's talk about someone who did win - Tilda Swinton. You probably know her as the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia. But to me, she will always be Gabriel from Constantine. I admit, there is something strangely unsettling about her face, but she's a fantastic actress. And maybe the indefinable quality of her face (strangely attractive yet on the verge of an outburst) helps her. I don't know.

Michael Clayton was written by Tony Gilroy. Honestly, I had never really heard of him before but it turns out that he also wrote the screenplays for all of the Borne movies. Less impressive movies in his writing pedigree include The Devil's Advocate, The Cutting Edge, and The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold. Overall, though, I'd say he's been successful.

The story was compelling and hit home - but I may be biased since I'm going to be a lawyer soon. I definitely identified with some of the struggles of Michael and Arthur.

Final Grade: A-
Blurb: You'll soon discover that I grade much more generously than my esteemed colleague. Also, I'm new to the letter grade system. Suffice it to say that this is a great courtroom/lawyer drama that will keep you interested until the very end. If you haven't already, watch it.

1 comment:

  1. I also liked this movie. On the other hand, was it good enough for an Academy nomination for Best Motion Picture? I don't think so. I mean, it was a really good movie, but I don't know if it was great. However, I'd probably give it a B+/A-, so I'm not that much harsher than you.

    Tom Wilkinson was great and I would've put him ahead of Javier Bardem for Best Supporting Actor, but I still think Casey Afleck was just as good/if not better than Wilkinson for his role in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. (Although that's a little unfair since there was no singular lead actor; I thought Affleck's character was more a lead character than Brad Pitt's.)

    I can't really comment on Tilda Swinton's victory since I haven't seen I'm Not There and Atonement. I will say, however, that I was equally fine with Swinton or Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) winning for Best Supporting Actress. And it's funny that you mention Swinton's role in Constantine b/c if I try to explain who Swinton is, the Constantine reference gets me nowhere (and that movie was one of the first realizations I had about Rotten Tomatoes not being an immaculate barometer).

    Sidenote: my parents took me to see The Cutting Edge when I was a kid (I was 9). We were going to see something else, but they were sold out, so we got stuck with a movie about couples figure skating... I'm sure my mom was stoked.