Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Michael Clayton" Review

Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney as Michael Clayton, is about a man who is an attorney that, instead of entering the courtroom, is now cleaning up the "messes" his clients & the firm that he tends to deal with. In this particular case, a colleague & friend (Tom Wilkinson), bi-polar & off his medications, makes a spectacle out of himself embarrassing the firm but at the same time revealing to the firm's heads that he knows a little more than he should about a certain case they have all been working on.

This movie was interesting but, I don't know, a little too tricky for me. I don't know, even that doesn't seem to explain what it was that I didn't like about this film. George Clooney (an actor who I believe will, in the future, go down as one of the best; like one of the great actors of classic Hollywood) did a great job, as usual, but still could not hook me into this movie.

By the way, if you do watch this movie, you will notice that Clayton's son is obsessed with a book series in which the first book is called "Realm & Conquest." This book does not exist in reality, it is only a movie prop. I know, because I checked. It sounded like a cool book so I wanted to get it but I was foiled once again by Hollywood. Ah, Hollywood, an eternal love-hate relationship.

So, would I recommend this film. If you like John Grisham styled plots, then you will probably like this one. If that is the case then, yes, I would suggest it but if that isn't really your "cup of tea" the I would suggest moving to the next movie on the shelf. I would give this movie a "C." George Clooney would get a much higher grade but he is not what I am reviewing. That will have to wait until another day.

Discussion Questions from Christianity Today:

1. The film's tagline is, "Truth Can Be Adjusted." Do you agree, or disagree? Why? Are there any circumstances under which that might be true?

2. At one point, Clayton's in-car navigation system is unable to show him the correct direction to proceed. Could the malfunctioning computer be a metaphor for anything else in Clayton's life and, if so, what does it mean?

3. While Clayton plays poker, a reckless game of chance, his son is obsessed with the fictitious fantasy book series and game, Realm and Conquest. Why does this story of epic journeys and virtuous heroes so appeal to the imbalanced Arthur Edens when he hears about it?

4. Discuss the ways in which noble intentions can erode over time, eaten away by small compromises that consume our idealism and resolve. What leads to this collapse and what can we do to prevent it?

5. What would you have done in Clayton's shoes?

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