ANALYSIS (taken from October movie review):
STARRING George Clooney (Michael Clayton), Tilda Swinton (Karen Crowder), Tom Wilkinson (Arthur Edens), Sydney Pollack (Marty
Bach), Merritt Wever (Anna)
WRITTEN and DIRECTED by Tony Gilroy
MICHAEL CLAYTON is an intelligent drama. It grabbed me from moment one and through the beginning end credits which play over
the end of the film. George Clooney is a fine actor in the same class as Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Paul newman. George
has made a variety of films from numerous Cohen Brothers films to THREE KINGS to BATMAN & ROBIN to OCEAN'S ELEVEN (through
THIRTEEN) to SOLARIS. Still he hits each role with class. He rises to the challenge of any role even if the film isn't good
or misunderstood. He is an actor first and never a movie star. He can charm you and make you understand his character whether
it is a man looking for the woman he lost or a con man or a tired lawyer.
"If I was gonna shake anybody down, Barry, I'd come directly to you, and it wouldn't be for 80 grand."
MICHAEL CLAYTON marks the directorial debut of Michael Gilroy (responsible for the great scripts of THE BORUNE SUPREMACY and
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. It is an engrossing drama with a complex, layered script. A fine cast also helps ground the picture
to reality. MICHAEL CLAYTON starts with a boom. The title character is a fixer for a bige law firm. He gets called away from
a card game to deal with a cilent's problem and stops to walk up to some horses on the way back. Then his card explodes. He
starts to run and the events flash back to four days ago. He is called to the Midwest to deal with a top lawyer of the firm,
Arthur Edens, who shows up at a deposition and strips naked. Arthur has went off his meds. Michael discovers that Artur has
been building a case against U-North, the company he is supposed to be representing. One of the law firm's partner, Marty
Bach, wants Michael to clean up the mess. However, everything is complicated when Karen Crowder (in-house counsel for U-North)discovers
Arthur has got his hands on a document that could be very damaging to the company. She sets in motion a series of events that
even include murder.
Meanwhile, Michael Clayton is $80,000 in debt thanks to his brother Timmy and has only a week to come up with it so he can
have the bar he always wanted to open up. He gets wrapped up in what Arthur has discovered and must wrestele with what is
right for him and should he be doing this job anymore. He can be bought, but it has taken a toll on his soul. The acting is
fantastic. Tilda Swinton just oozes with confidence as a lawyer who does horrible things with her eyes wide open while Wilkinson
plays a lawyer at the edge of madness. MICHAEL CLAYTON builds and builds with more and more layers. In the end, you are left
with a fantastic viewing experience. It is one of the best films of 2007.
Without any featurettes, the audio commentary by Writer/Director Tony Gilroy and Editor John Gilroy (Tony's brother) is worthwhile.
They talk about the challenges of the production, rewrites Tony would have love to done, some scenes were first takes in
the film, and how the film was hard to score for.
The three deleted scenes are somewhat interesting (with optional audio commentary by Tony and John). The first scene sheds
more light on Michael's private life and makes hima little more vunerable. The film's audio commentary does mention a deleted
scene or two that didn't make it onto the disc.
FINAL ANALYSIS: MICHAEL CLAYTON is a smart thriller. George Clooney gives the best performance of his career. See this
film now on DVD. The movie deserved all of the Oscar nominations it got.
this DVD review is (c)2-21-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to email@example.com
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