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.,
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Jean François Heckel,
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
Michael started with the firm in 1990, and has been there for 17 years. While speaking to Marty, he reflects on his state in life, and claims to be 45 years old. He was born in 1959, so he should be 47 or 48. He may be lying about his age. 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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Law and justice are common misconceptions. For truth is adjustable. It depends on money and influence. Michael Clayton is short on both. Deep in debt, isolated and with his authority as special counsel at a massive law firm becoming increasingly tenuous, Michael has no room error. Then the trouble really begins. Arthur, a leading attorney for the firm, suffers a breakdown. Michael is marked for execution. With billions of dollars and lives hanging in the balance, Michael realizes he must channel the skills he learned as a powerful trial attorney; coolness under pressure, finding and exploiting thresholds for pain, and adjusting the truth.
Attorneys, especially those at gigantic firms like Michael's, must jettison or channel their emotions to win. Even then, winning often does not mean success. Arthur is broken down from years of screaming, stalling, scheming and sacrificing his well-being – and that of those he loves - in exchange for billable hours. Eyes opening to the beauty of life and love, Arthur resists Michael's efforts to bring him back to the tasks of the firm. To help Arthur, the firm and all those who depend upon them, Michael first must help himself. The film reveals why, as a law school graduate, I am not practicing law.
As a thriller, Michael Clayton is first rate. Tensions are heightened as puzzle pieces of the story and the motivations of the fascinating characters are gradually revealed and the film jumps back in time. Those in the audience who pay attention to little details are rewarded. The reason for a malfunctioning vehicle GPS unit, for instance, is revealed near the end of the film and with much impact. George Clooney (Michael), Tom Wilkinson (Arthur) and Tilda Swinton are amazing. With added depth to the dialogue, soundtrack and cinematography, the film could be more compelling, yet viewers will delight, as I did, in the charms of this pulse quickening film. Ten years since the release of the film and the nation receives a daily schooling, from the highest levels of government, in the relevance of its theme of adjustable truth.
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