MICHAEL CLAYTON

Tony Gilroy’s “Michael Clayton” is a high-powered yet subtle legal thriller in which we begin to have empathy – first for one man deemed crazy by his employer and his closest friend, and then for the friend, who must determine just how crazy his friend and colleague is.

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<br/>George Clooney plays the title character, a “fixer” for legal messes, who when we first meet him, is world-weary, beaten down by his job, and yet, still trying to commit to what he does for a living.

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<br/>Colleague and friend Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson, in the year’s first sure-fire Supporting Actor nomination deserving performance), believes that he too has been corrupted by his work, protecting an agro-chemical company for years against allegations of pollution causing deaths in small towns.

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<br/>Clayton must seek out the truth at all costs, including potentially, the life of Edens, as well as his own.

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<br/>Gilroy, a first time writer-director who is famous for penning the Bourne movies, keeps the film at a remarkably steady pace, drawing us in rather than assaulting us with improbable action in corporate settings.

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<br/>The supporting cast, including Wilkinson (the anchor of the film), Sydney Pollack as Clayton’s off-the-books employer, and Tilda Swinton as a remarkably nervous agro-chemical employee who knows more than she’s letting on, is quite simply, uniformly, superb.

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<br/>This is definitely one of the year’s best films. Nominated for 7 Oscars, including Best Picture!

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