Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Michael Clayton

Last night Mister M and I did something we never do. No, not that. The other thing. Yes, we went to the cinema. We were in town and it was a crappy night, so we figured, why not?

We saw that film Michael Clayton, which has that bloke in it who women want to be with and men want to be like (apparently). In it, he plays a fixer for a law firm who has to clean up the mess left behind when his friend (and, it seemed to me, mentor) has a bipolar episode while working on a really long-running class action suit against a major chemicals corporation. With hilarious results. Well, no. Actually slightly predictable results, really.

Some things about this film were just great. George Clooney, for one. He just looked grumpy and out of sorts throughout the entire film; his performance reminded me of Bruce Willis's in Twelve Monkeys, as if he had been given strict instructions not to do The Look, or The Twinkle, or any one of a number of little things he does to try to exude charm. I liked his relationship with his son, and indeed his family as a whole. It seemed kind of normal. I also liked Tom Wilkinson, because who doesn't? Also the overall seventies downbeat nature of the film is great. It's not funny, there are no jokes, there's no snappy dialogue, it just tells the story and that's kind of it.

However, it's nowhere near as good as everybody says it is. It's simply one of those films that is as good as films should be. Tilda Swinton's character has a major flaw, which is telegraphed from miles away. There are several things that happen that kind of don't make any sense. Above all, the character of Michael Clayton himself is a textbook example of told-not-shown.

I don't want to undersell it, though. I certainly enjoyed it and it was in no way stupid or too long or annoying in any way. It's just that maybe it was slightly oversold to me.

Also, whatever you do, don't go to the official site looking for photos to put on your blog post. Jesus, talk about overdesigned.

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