Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Michael Clayton

George Clooney uses the money he makes from his blockbuster roles to bankroll less auspicious projects; Good Night and Good Luck for instance.

I saw Michael Clayton yesterday. It hasn't had long runs at the multiplexes and you may have to travel a bit to find somewhere it is still on (locals, try Bristol Showcase, take warm clothes if my experience yesterday is typical) but it is worth it.

It's a totally classy suspense thriller. Hitchcock used to say that if there is an explosion in a meeting there is shock. If the audience see the meeting in progress and the bomb under the table there is suspense. The longer you can leave it before the bang the better.

Michael Clayton opens with a rather confusing set of scenes in which Clayton (Clooney) is introduced as a flawed character who someone wants dead. He is some sort of legal fixer but he has a gambling habit. These scenes are revisited and explained with a jump to '4 days earlier.'

Over the next two hours Clooney shows us more faults in the Clayton character. As you start to wonder if he is someone you want to like or not he starts to uncover some things his firm is doing which have crossed a line. Whose side will he end up on? Cracking fun.

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