Michael Clayton: Ethan’s Review

Longtime listener/reader Ethan has been checking out some of the films up at the Toronto International Film Festival and he was kind enough to send us a a review of Michael Clayton.  I won’t waste any more time.  On to the reveiw!

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Ethan’s Score:  8.5/10

We’ve had plenty of legal thrillers in the last few years. They all seem to be decently made, but not original. Well acted, but not Oscar worthy. Entertaining, but not insightful. But Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton gives the genre a kick in the ass and manages to be original, feature Oscar-worthy performances and be insightful!

In case you haven’t heard of this film. I’ll give a rundown of the plot. The title character Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is a “fixer” for a respected law firm in New York City. His life is not too great. His job makes him feel like a janitor but he can’t really do anything about it. Suddenly his mentor, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) goes insane while working  n a settlement on a class action suit towards an environmental product company hat sold  a “deadly weed whacker”. Michael is brought in to help “fix” this but he comes to understand the conclusions that Arthur was getting at.

Michael Clayton grabs your attention from the beginning with an amazing monologue from Tom Wilkinson and never lets go during it’s two hour runtime. Writer/Director Tony Gilroy brilliantly plots the film and makes us care for the characters. Helping it become an amazingly engrossing experience. And like I said, this film is insightful. It has fully developed themes and a message that is universal. With having an evironmental company be the “bad guys” you can see some opportunities for some social commentary on our treatment of the earth. There is some subtle development of these ideas but they never weigh down the film. A wise move. It wouldn’t have worked making this An Inconvenient Truth 2 : The Quickening.

I highly recommend this film. It’s worth the ticket price for Tom Wilkinson’s performance.

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