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
At the beginning of the movie, Michael Clayton has a phone conversation with Walter about a client in trouble. At the end when the same scene is replayed, the conversation between the two is different. 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 ...
See more »
In the title role of Michael Clayton, George Clooney is described by himself as exactly that. Whenever there's a big mess he's the one they send in to clean it up. The law firm under managing partner Sydney Pollack has a real mess on his hands. One of the firm's top attorneys Tom Wilkinson has gone off the deep end. He's representing a chemical company accused of poisoning people with a new insecticide they've developed. Cleaning up this mess might be just a baby sitting job with Wilkinson who mentored Clayton. But it has the potential to be worse because this company is guilty as sin and will do anything to limit the liability and keep their good name.
Michael Clayton was nominated for a flock of Oscars including Best Actor for George Clooney as a much flawed hero. Takes a while for the better angels of Clooney's nature emerge. Tom Wilkinson as the lawyer with both conscience and schizophrenia steals the acting honors though. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Michael Clayton got a flock of other nominations including Best Picture.
The film did take home one bit of Oscar gold. Tilda Swinton as one of the chemical company executives who also has an attack of conscience got a Best Supporting Actress Award. She's quite good herself.
The film is an interesting look at big business and the high priced lawyers they must retain to keep them out of trouble. Sad in some cases we have to rely on consciences coming to the fore for any justice at times.
Michael Clayton, a well done piece of cinema.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this