Michael Clayton

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Rating: R

Starring:
George Clooney as Michael Clayton
Tom Wilkinson as Arthur Edens
Michael O’Keefe as Barry Grissom
Sydney Pollack as Marty Bach
Danielle Skraastad as Bridget Klein (voice)
Tilda Swinton as Karen Crowder
Thomas McCarthy as Walter (voice)
Denis O’Hare as Mr. Greer
Julie White as Mrs. Greer
Austin Williams as Henry Clayton
Jennifer Van Dyck as Ivy
Frank Wood as Gerald

Special Features:
Additional Scenes
Commentary by Writer/Director Tony Gilroy and Editor John Gilroy

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Languages
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 120 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Attorney Michael Clayton is a ‘fixer,’ the go-to guy when his powerful New York law firm wants a mess swept under the rug. But now he’s handed a crisis even he may not be able to fix. The firm’s top litigator in a $3-billion case has gone from advocate to whistleblower. And the more Michael tries to undo the damage, the more he’s up against forces that put corporate survival over human life – including Michael’s. George Clooney portrays Michael, backed into a career corner that offers little room to fight free in this suspense- and star-packed thriller written and directed by Tony Gilroy (writer/co-writer of the Bourne movie trilogy). Keep your eyes on Michael Clayton. He has some life-or- death decisions to make. Fast.”

“Michael Clayton” is rated R for language including some sexual dialogue.

Mini-Review:
“Michael Clayton” is your typical corporate conspiracy film. You have your lone hero facing a scandalous cover up by unscrupulous executives. There’s not much new here. What makes it interesting are the performances by the cast. Tom Wilkinson stands out as Arthur Edens, a lawyer and colleague of Clayton who has a mental breakdown in the midst of a major lawsuit. His transition from hotshot lawyer to paranoid schizophrenic is amazing. Tilda Swinton is also impressive as Karen Crowder. She’s a high flying executive who gets deeper and deeper in directing the company cover up. It’s amazing how she gradually transitions from simple lying all the way to the most heinous crimes.

George Clooney is, well, George Clooney in the role of Michael Clayton. He’s not that much different than he is in other roles in other films (with the notable exception of “O Brother, Where Art Thou”). He does have some moments to shine as his soulless lawyer (is that redundant?) starts developing a conscience.

At 120 minutes long, it’s a bit of an endurance test to watch. But this is certainly a promising directorial debut by Tony Gilroy. It’s a good looking film and he handles the first rate cast well. I look forward to seeing what else he directs.

If you like George Clooney or any of the supporting cast, then I think “Michael Clayton” is a film you’re going to want to check out.

Unfortunately, the bonus features are quite light on this DVD. It’s to the point that I expect there to be some sort of special edition sold in the future. For now, you will find some additional scenes and your standard commentary by Tony Gilroy and editor John Gilroy.

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