A law firm brings in its 'fixer' to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action suit.
Too much of everything
Although I seem to have had higher expectations than I thought, the movie is super entertaining.
The joyful confection is coated in a sparkly gloss, bright enough to gleam from the darkest, most cynical corners.
This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.
Law and justice are common misconceptions. For truth is adjustable. It depends on money and influence. Michael Clayton is short on both. Deep in debt, isolated and with his authority as special counsel at a massive law firm becoming increasingly tenuous, Michael has no room error. Then the trouble really begins. Arthur, a leading attorney for the firm, suffers a breakdown. Michael is marked for execution. With billions of dollars and lives hanging in the balance, Michael realizes he must channel the skills he learned as a powerful trial attorney; coolness under pressure, finding and exploiting thresholds for pain, and adjusting the truth.Attorneys, especially those at gigantic firms like Michael's, must jettison or channel their emotions to win. Even then, winning often does not mean success. Arthur is broken down from years of screaming, stalling, scheming and sacrificing his well-being – and that of those he loves - in exchange for billable hours. Eyes opening to the beauty of life and love, Arthur resists Michael's efforts to bring him back to the tasks of the firm. To help Arthur, the firm and all those who depend upon them, Michael first must help himself. The film reveals why, as a law school graduate, I am not practicing law.As a thriller, Michael Clayton is first rate. Tensions are heightened as puzzle pieces of the story and the motivations of the fascinating characters are gradually revealed and the film jumps back in time. Those in the audience who pay attention to little details are rewarded. The reason for a malfunctioning vehicle GPS unit, for instance, is revealed near the end of the film and with much impact. George Clooney (Michael), Tom Wilkinson (Arthur) and Tilda Swinton are amazing. With added depth to the dialogue, soundtrack and cinematography, the film could be more compelling, yet viewers will delight, as I did, in the charms of this pulse quickening film. Ten years since the release of the film and the nation receives a daily schooling, from the highest levels of government, in the relevance of its theme of adjustable truth.
This tightly scripted movie is perfect in my opinion. Events unfold and follow one another with perfect synchronicity, making complete sense. The story is entirely plausible and where you see things that are incongruous, they fit perfectly into the plot. There is a character that has bi-polar disorder and he is written to perfection and perfectly acted. There is only one scene that does not make sense, but there is a book that is referred to in the storyline with a graphic and if you accept that "child's flight of fancy," that one scene makes sense. I have seen this movie many times and each time, I see something new in it. The script is excellent. The direction is excellent. The acting is first rate. This movie in my opinion is a 10.
"Successful white men in thrillingly unique situations, starring George Clooney performing ordinary acts like pressing car alarms or having stare competitions with his costarring, monologuing actors." Is a clearer,more edited title, if there be a soul,dwelling on our shared rock whizzing through infinite dim unknowns, has a pinch of curiosity to thy above summary. A summary that, in my worthless opinion, encapsulates this two hour background nose for my grandma who can't fall asleep without a television within twelve feet of her. Bright Points! It is a interesting complex, carefully complicated, Hollywood built script; but with 2007 Hollywood comes all its districts, embarrassingly blatant jelly rolls. What I mean by this is mainly based off the films white washed cast, headed by Mr.A lister, George Clooney, as his salt & pepper sexy self, but this time he's "fixer" with some deep down feelings behind his big beautiful soul windows! For whatever reason just about every character is built with their own outer brash confidence, shown through intense star downs and hard monologues that everyone totally kills. Last words: Interesting story, if you want to get into it, but don't be in a rush to throw "Michael Clayton" at the top of your watch list.
When Reviewing a Near Perfect Film there is a Tendency to Let Loose so many Adjectives and Accolades that the True meaning of the Praise becomes Overwhelmed by the Verbiage. Such is the Situation with "Michael Clayton".Rarely does a Movie contain Greatness at Virtually every level of the Craft. What also Surprises is that the Tone of the Film is Low-Key and completely Character Driven, Although the Plot is as Topical and Important as they come.It's Complex (divert the eyes during one key scene and the reason and meaning of the important horse scene is lost in ether). The Actors are all on the same Wavelength and Contribute equally to the Film's enormous Critical Approval. The Writing is Profound, Philosophical, and Touching, with razor Sharp Wit and Symbolism.Every Character is Flawed (save the yet to grow up child) and show Dual and Destructive Behavior. But Each Personality makes its Mark and Lingers. The Movie Haunts. It Enters the Psyche and will Not Leave until You Give it its Due.The People that brought You this decidedly Different Masterpiece of Movie Making are Writer/Director Tony Gilroy, Indelible Screen Performances from George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, and Sydney Pollack and Supporting Roles that every Actor Nailed.A Welcome, Against the Grain Film that Restores the thing that the most Popular form of Entertainment in modern History can be at its Best. Sensational and Sublime. Note Multiple viewings are recommended to fully appreciate.