Michael Clayton

Posted October 24, 2007 in Film

 George Clooney, his grin turned down a notch, stars as a calculating lawyer in Tony Gilroy’s dense and engrossing thriller. After his colleague (Tom Wilkinson) goes crazy while working on a class action suit against a chemical company, Clooney must save the day. Only Tilda Swinton, as the evil corporation’s chief legal counsel, brings her Narnia Snow Queen warmth to a role as a schemer out to ruin Clooney’s life. Gilroy co-wrote the Bourne franchise and here takes a wholly different tact to edge-of-your-seat suspense; instead of steady, silent action, his film is wordy, detailed, and captivating. It would feel almost like a classic noir if it weren’t so modern-day cynical about The Man. But while the torrent of smart, shifty intrigue can be hard to navigate if you duck out for a refill, Clooney’s rich performance glides through it smoothly.  No one plays winking superficiality better than him and here, Clooney’s glamorous intelligence is deepened by his constant hints that slickness, like corporate integrity, is just an act.


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