luni, 3 aprilie 2017

Michael Clayton written and directed by Tony Gilroy

Michael Clayton written and directed by Tony Gilroy

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Michael Clayton is an excellent film.
George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson act perfectly.

Nevertheless, it is Tilda Swinton that won the Academy Award, BAFTA and other prizes.
And I am not crazy about this actress and I know I am biased.

Michael Clayton has a powerful, fantastic story to tell.
One of Redemption.

To begin with, he is nearly the epitome of the villain.
A fixer who takes care of dirty work.

He says so himself:

I am the janitor, the one they call to clean up the mess.

He has big debts, he plays cards and helps people who have committed crimes.
Yes, that is what a lawyer does and everyone needs a defense and someone to help them.

But for some time he is on the side of the really bad corporation, one which kills people.

The viewer sees Michael Clayton in a less serious situation.
Even if there has been a traffic accident and somebody was hit, it is not the large scale damage done by a product.

The man who caused the injury is a major client and so The Fixer is sent to him...
Having hit and run, Michael Clayton is warning him about the consequences.

It happened right near the police station
Very soon they will find traces at the spot and they will be looking for a white Jaguar...

-          So help me!

-          You need a different kind of help.
-          They said they are sending A Miracle Worker
-          And here Clayton contradicts with the aforementioned janitor line

I will pause here to say how impressed I am, not only with the exceptional performance of George Clooney, but also his humility.
In the classic book about the film industry Adventures in the Screen Trade, William Goldman writes about all aspects of making movies.

There are quite a few stories with stars...

How Dustin Hoffman misbehaved on the set of Marathon Man.
The fact that the famous Humphrey Bogart whined about others getting roles he wanted.
Robert Redford has been mean to Goldman on two occasions, maybe more.

But the stars want to have roles where they appear as strong, handsome, powerful, good, which was the reason of one of the Redford incidents.

The fact that George Clooney took a role in which he has to say that he is just a janitor mad otherwise a rather negative character is impressive.
Granted, there is Redemption!

After this humiliating start, the man who says that he can be bought, finds the Dao

The Way
He is purified and absolved of all sins
He becomes...Shiva, The God of Death

First, he is called in to clean another mess.
A man of the big company has had a breakdown.

The character is brilliantly portrayed by the fabulous Tom Wilkinson.

No matter what role he has, he plays to perfection.

Michael Clayton is supposed to watch over him, make him come to his senses and again, to fix this disaster.
Only he gets attached to the victim of ruthless leaders and begins to understand the size of the crime that these people are willing to commit.

For money, power, status, some Machiavellian individuals are ready to murder competitors, bystanders, anyone.
And this is what they do here.

They hire contract killers and try to eliminate anyone who is in the way, might talk, knows too much...

-          The Usual Suspects

Even if some of this is well known and predictable, I still appreciated greatly the acting, the optimistic message and this very good film.

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