In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
Michael Clayton, a high-priced law firm's fixer, leaves a late night poker game, gets a call to drive to Westchester, and watches his car blow up as he's taking an impromptu dawn walk through a field. Flash back four days. He owes a loan shark to cover his brother's debts (Michael's own gambling habits have left him virtually broke). His law firm is negotiating a high-stakes merger, and his firm's six year defense of a conglomerate's pesticide use is at risk when one of the firm's top litigators goes off his meds and puts the case in jeopardy. While Michael is trying to fix things someone decides to kill him. Who? Meanwhile his son summarizes the plot of a dark fantasy novel. Written by
Committed to a fully developed back story, director Tony Gilroy spent a good deal of time establishing the details of "Realm and Conquest" with production designer Kevin Thompson. The director explains that right from the beginning, when he first read the script, he could tell that "Realm and Conquest" was going to be a key prop. In the movie it's a metaphor for truth and justice. In creating the details of the fictional novel, Thompson generated original visuals inspired by German Expressionistic images cut from wood blocks, and Gilroy wrote the first two pages for three chapters of the book. They even went as far as designing a "Realm and Conquest" card game for a scene between Henry and Michael. Thompson offers, "This detail was important to Tony because, in his own life, novels and games similar to 'Realm and Conquest' allow him to connect with his son in a meaningful way." See more »
After the bomb explodes and Clayton's car is burning, he throws his wallet, watch and personal effects into the burning car, apparently to make it evident that he was killed in the fire. But any investigator would quickly notice that no charred human remains were present and the story wouldn't hold. See more »
Michael. Dear Michael. Of course it's you, who else could they send, who else could be trusted? I... I know it's a long way and you're ready to go to work... all I'm saying is wait, just wait, just-just-just... please hear me out because this is not an episode, relapse, fuck-up, it's... I'm begging you Michael. I'm begging you. Try and make believe this is not just madness because this is not just madness. Two weeks ago I came out of the building, okay, I'm running across Sixth ...
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With previous works on similar subjects such as "The Firm," "A Civil Action" and "Erin Brockovich," how can this one pull it off better? No one would ever believe it can until they see it themselves. Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of "The Bourne" trilogy, revisits the saint-or-sinner theme in "The Devil's Advocate" and brings an excellent script that is full of precise dialog and intense sequences.
Michael Clayton, the senior lawyer in his firm, has fixed up many troubling cases which might not be considered as justice methods. Until another senior partner of the firm, Arthur Edens, freaked out at a hearing, the turning point of his life comes along with it unexpectedly.
Just like any of us, Clayton has to deal with many difficulties in life. Besides the handful works, there are also the child support and the dept owed by his brother. His son, Henry, is a smart kid and fully realizes the way life is. On the contrary, Timmy, his younger brother, just couldn't know how to stay out of trouble despite of having an older brother, Gene, who happens to be an officer.
The case which makes Edens freak out or just pretend to is a lawsuit involves with billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. It's not a rare affair in the U.S. and also one of the bigger ones that makes law firms make profits by helping big industries. But do the lawyers can all manage the deals without their conscience? Yes is the more likely answer.
Unlike the conscience Edens discovers within himself, the executive spokesman, Karen Crowder, doesn't care anything else but the welfare of the firm and, of course, of herself. But she is in fact very diffident due to her position and her sex. The only way she can breakthrough these odds is to make her bosses impressive.
As many have said in their reviews, George Clooney gave his best performance to date. He portrayed this role which is the key to the success of the movie brilliantly with every look, every move and every line that he has to as also an executive producer. He's a strong Oscar contender already.
The acclaimed but overlooked actor Tom Wilkinson does another great job as Edens. The reason and insanity of the role can both be seen through his limited but powerful interpretation.
It's even more thrilling to see Tilda Swinton in the cast. Very different from her previous roles which are well-known as authoritative and neuter, she dealt with a feminine role which tries to act strong but actually weak this time.
Another executive producer and the director of "The firm," Sydney Pollack, took the part which is only bigger than a cameo, shows his interest in this genre once more and being an actor besides already an acclaimed film director. Along side is Steven Soderbergh, the old pal of Clooney and the director of "Erin Brokovich."
With the constant dialog, it might fail to satisfy action-flick fans easily which it seems like one in the trailer. But as a suspense thriller, it's possibly the best one of the year or even in years. The important topic of the downfall sense of justice is a very present message to the society which is filled with the value that measured by money and power. And the gripping storytelling and the dream-alike ensemble cast shows what a good movie is made of.
As the credit shows on the right, the face of Clayton is still shown on screen which tells more about his feeling after the immense scenes he has just been through. Gilroy added a touch of realism to the ending after the metaphor sequence with the horses in the mist.
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