Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Just Saw Michael Clayton

I just finished watching Michael Clayton, George Clooney's latest movie as an actor and executive director. Tony Gilmore has his directorial debut in this pensive drama that he also penned.
What struck me about the movie were a few things.

1. The Writing: Superb! This movie should garner Gilmore a best screenplay nod. I found that I kept following the dialouge like I was witnessing a David Mamet concoction of brilliance. This writing is poetic, intense, and honest. It's interesting that "who are you" and "I am Shiva the God of Death" were repeated in dialog. While the story is clearly about the corruption of law firms and agribusiness, the overriding theme is one of identity - who are we, who are you, who am I, who is Michael Clayton?

2. The Acting: Watching Tilda Swinton prepare her speeches while getting dressed, seeing her face change and torque as she tried to deal with what she was involved with. Tom Wilkinson deftly embodying the annihilation of a life's career in a moment of moral clarity. I think that Clooney was good, as usual. He's a fantastic actor. I just wonder if this performance could have been brought up a notch.

3. The Direction: The decision to shoot everything close up, so close that you felt drawn in and part of the story and intercut scenes, especially with Tilda preparing for speeches while getting dressed.

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