Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

20 March 2008

Michael Clayton, dir. Tony Gilroy (2007)

NIKKI says:
I found myself enjoying this film as it happened, but in hindsight (all of about eight hours) I don't know how much of it really resonated.

That isn't to say it wasn't a good film, but it was one of those films that felt like it was telling me all the way through that it was good. It came off as way too important for its own good so that the ending felt like such a major let down. What other ending could we really have expected?

I had a slight issue with the end coming first. We're shown what eventually happens to Michael Clayton -- it's one of those wrap around things where you get ten minutes before the end first, come back to that point, and then keep going for ten minutes. I'm not a big fan of that. And here, I don't think it made too much difference whether we saw it or not. I felt that the film twisted and turned so much that knowing exactly where Michael Clayton ended up at this very key point sucked the suspense and just had me wondering what he was going to do to get there rather than sit back and be surprised by what did eventually happen.

If that makes sense... Basically, you can't have a chase scene when you know that chasers don't catch the chasee. Which nearly sums up the whole film for me in terms of our goodies and baddies and where they go and what they do. So, they killed that guy? Yeah, thought they might. So, they tried to kill this guy and missed? Yeah, thought they'd do that, too. And even: So this guy eventually wins? Knew they'd do that.

Or did I miss the point?

What did I enjoy here? Clooney continues to be great. His evolution into the only modern actor to even hint at filmdom's past heroes -- Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant -- continues to thrill me. His acting was superb. I love those fierce Clooney eyes when he starts to get serious.

I also liked the scenes with Tilda Swinton that compared her confident public appearance with her nervy private self, although I didn't see an Oscar winner when I watched her. She didn't make me tremble like Ruby Dee in American Gangster, for instance. I loved the writing -- check out the scene when Michael first goes to the guy's house involved in the hit and run. The dialogue is sensational.

Ultimately, though, I just don't think I really cared.


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