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 »
In the early part of the film, during a drive in Manhattan, a tree can clearly be seen in vivid bloom, which occurs in Spring. However, the rest of the scenes take place in a Christmas Season time frame, evidenced by the numerous shots with lit trees, and decorations. As well, the grass is dead in most rural New York scenes, and actors' breath is clearly visible, once again suggesting late Autumn, or early winter. 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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I just fall in love with this movie, I didn't see a Thriller like this for long time, this movie is really good, I think George Clooney did a terrific job, so as the cost .
This legal thriller was a pleasant surprise. I always expect to enjoy George Clooney's presence in a film. In this case, Clooney's excellent work is in evidence, but also watch for an Oscar-worthy turn from Tom Wilkinson, and a powerful, edgy performance by Tilda Swinton.
Michael Clayton is perfectly paced, and complex without being confusing. The director, Tony Gilroy, chooses lingering and steady shots over in the jumbled, shaky hand-held style that is currently so in vogue -- and his choice works well as the tension and drama build to a climactic, and terrific, final act.
In my opinion, if George Clooney keeps himself in the right direction he will definitely take another Oscar.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
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