Michael Clayton

By: Jo Siedlecka

Director Tony Gilroy's movie has many of the ingredients of a John Grisham thriller: bent lawyers, corrupt multinational companies and their innocent victims. It is also has a redemptive theme. The central character, Michael Clayton, played by George Clooney, is a not particularly brave or high-achieving divorced man who finds himself at the centre of a huge crime. He can keep quiet and solve many of his messy family and money troubles. Or, he can do the right thing and risk all.

The story unfolds in a somewhat cryptic fashion - with layers of flashbacks and some uneasy camera angles. But there are good performances from all the cast, ­ especially Tilda Swinton as an evil female executive and Tom Wilkinson as Michael's lawyer friend, who apparently suffers a nervous breakdown when he discovers what his company is getting up to. Smaller character parts are also well-chosen. In a fine understated performance, George Clooney comes across as anxious, emotionally muffled and very human in this quietly moral tale.

One scene worth watching out for his silent encounter with three horses on a hill. It comes as a breath of fresh air in this rather dark but thoughtful film. Originally posted on ICN - 31 October 2007 - 120 words

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