Oscars 2008: Michael Clayton – REVIEW

mc.jpgMichael Clayton: You are the senior litigating partner of one of the largest, most respected law firms in the world. You are a legend.

Arthur Edens: I’m an accomplice!

Michael Clayton: You’re a manic-depressive!

Arthur Edens: I am Shiva, the god of death. 

We’ve heard this before, tired people struggling to die another day and  fighting a losing battle in between. Tom Cruise was tired all along in “The Firm” but waging one last move. Actor George Clooney in Ocean’s 11, Syriana and Good Night and Good Luck potrayed the tired man’s lasting struggle. And Director Tony Gilroy’s  Bourne series (one man again) and Devil’s Advocate are all on a closer look anti-establishment. When they come together in Michael Clayton, there are tired fireworks, it is a beautiful movie, but we’ve seen this before. 

7 Academy nominations including the big ones Best Picture, Best Director (Gilroy), Best Actor (Clooney) and Best Script (Gilroy). 

Story (IMDB) : Michael Clayton is an in-house fixer at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. A former criminal prosecutor, Clayton takes care of Kenner, Bach, & Ledeen’s dirtiest work at the behest of the firm’s co-founder, Marty Bach. Though burned out and hardly content with his job as a fixer, his divorce, a failed business venture, and mounting debt have left Clayton inextricably tied to the firm. At U/North, meanwhile, the career of litigator Karen Crowder rests on the multi-million dollar settlement of a class-action suit that Clayton’s firm is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. But when Kenner Bach’s brilliant and guilt-ridden attorney Arthur Edens sabotages the U/North case, Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career and his life.  

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The Good: 

1. Its a subtle movie, the director cum script writer has placed all the hints for us, but the viewer has to walk that extra mile to fully get it. No, its not that Matrix, even the brothers never got Matrix. There are no sermons, and the characters don’t speak about convictions, its like – they are tired. Both the heroes and the villains.  

2. The Car explosion scene. They say, when the breaking point comes, we all wake up. Beautifully scripted, well shot. 

3. The film does not talk in sound bytes like the usual law firm movies, it talks like normal people do. George Clooney’s performance is understated and subtle, but we know that he is Mr. Clooney. I’ve liked him in all his movies. 

Then if you are good at mixing stuff, you could get something like “The truth can be adjusted, but do I look like I’m negotiating” 

Bad: 

1. Its predictable. I predicted it at the opening credits. There is a suspense element, but I predicted it and then kept guessing.

2. It would have been a Classic if it came before all the other movies which feels like it. I mean Firm, Serpico and And Justice for all and Syriana and all those other movies.

Oscar: There is nothing Oscar about the movie, direction is good but seen before. Clooney is good but not Academyesque. Tom Wilkinson could bag the supporting actor award with his mad genius role, but need to see the other movies. Its a nice movie which can be watched more than once, there is that much of intrigue.

4 Responses to Oscars 2008: Michael Clayton – REVIEW

  1. Rover February 1, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

    Hmm, 7 oscar nominations. Me was thinking there would be something to the movie. A tad disappointing I guess.

    I watched No Country for Old Men. It’s like an Clint Eastwood movie without him in it. It’s gonna bag a handful at Kodak.

    Btw, Edwards it out. McCain is in. And Brahmity and Roves (read you and me) are still in here.

    Things are getting to the next level. I’m still hedging my bets on Obama (may be a Obama-Edwards ticket, giving the white man his share of the USA of A). Don’t tell me you are backing ‘ol Hill-Billy.

  2. Rover February 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm #

    Oh forgot to mention, the Coen brothers (who did No Country..) seem to be quite a team. Some recommendations I’ve got are – The Big Lebowski and Miller’s Crossing. Check them out. I ain’t watched ’em yet.

  3. iavr February 2, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    me here too…..

  4. bvn February 5, 2008 at 6:56 am #

    a bit i should say 🙁

    hey i’ve got NCFOM after reading yrs…didnt watch it yet…was watching Gangsters…its cult material man, liked it..and no italians for godsake!

    think it will be Hillary. Hillary-Obama maybe. Hillary- Edwards wont workout. Obama-Edwards is romantic but no chance. If Obama wins FOX will rape him from day one.

    neways wait and watch (sadly in Dilbert land) hate it!

    iavr,

    🙂 ydwoh olleh

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