Michael Clayton (2007)

dir. Tony Gilroy. George Clooney is the title role, as the fixer in a New York City law firm, tasked with getting rogue litigator Arthur (Tom Wilkinson) under control before he destroys a major class action defence for the law firms major client, a multinational chemical company. Showing his natural movie star quality, George Clooney is effortless as the stressed out, but highly competent law firm fixer – just through his body language you get the sense that this character is fully formed. I would have loved another movie with the same character. I’m not sure how a corporate legal drama can be comfort viewing, but MICHAEL CLAYTON certainly is. The supporting cast is terrific, Sydney Pollack (director of THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1975)) plays the amoral law firm managing partner, and Tilda Swinton plays the sinister yet fragile legal council for the chemical company. With its themes of corporate malfeasance, environmentalism, and moral relativism, it’s pretty much timeless. Maybe the time is right for a sequel? I can certainly imagine Michael Clayton moving on to politics, being a fixer for a progressive politician. I don’t think the movie needed to use the “Four days earlier” editing choice, and I wish the credits didn’t start over the final shot of the film. 

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.

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