Michael Clayton

New from The Movie Snob

Michael Clayton (A). Even though (or perhaps because) I’m a lawyer and this is movie about lawyers, I never had much inclination to see this movie. But now it’s back out in theaters after getting nominated for a bunch of Oscars, and a friend of mine gave it a big thumbs up, so I took a chance. It was excellent, although rest assured that, with Comrade George Clooney involved, it is no love letter to capitalism or corporate America. Clooney (The American) plays the title character. Michael Clayton is a “fixer,” a lawyer at a prestigious New York law firm who is an expert at coming in and helping fix emergency situations. When a big firm client is involved in a hit-and-run accident in the middle of the night, he calls Clayton. And when the firm’s top lawyer defending a huge class-action lawsuit against a fertilizer company freaks out in the middle of a deposition, again, they call Clayton to rein him in. Then things really get interesting. Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom) is excellent as the lawyer who freaks out, Tilda Swinton (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) is excellent as the company’s top in-house attorney, and, truth be told, His Clooneyness is excellent as the fixer. All three deserve their Oscar nominations. See it.

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