Michael Clayton (2007)

This is a great film on many levels.  It’s a great story with believable characters, an ending that is satisfying yet disturbing, and it’s fueled by the best acting you’ll ever see.

Clooney, Wilkinson and Swinton all turn in Oscar deserving performances (Swinton did win* for best supporting actress).  Sydney Pollack, an Oscar winning director and producer,  always seemed to played a similar role when he acted.  Well, I guess practice makes perfect.  He can best be described as a linchpin (something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together).  These four actors make Michael Clayton a film that must be seen several times to take it in.

I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: George Clooney is the greatest actor of his generation.  He has incredible range and his use of facial expressions is masterful.  Even if you’ve already seen it, please watch this move again and pay attention to his scene with the horses (at the end of the film).  Use that rewind button and watch it carefully.  Without saying a word he expresses a half-dozen emotions that speak volumes about the impact those four days had on his character.  This talent is evident in virtually everything he does.

Michael Clayton is perfect.


* Over 20 years ago it was decided that it was not politically correct to say that there was a “winner” of an Oscar.  The language was changed from “The winner is …” to “And the Oscar goes to …”  This practice, that always pissed me off, was changed in 2010.

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