Oscar Ritual 2008 : MICHAEL CLAYTON
Nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actor (George Clooney), Supporting Actress (Tilda Swinton), Supporting Actor (Tom Wilkinson), Original Screenplay, and Original Score
For all the critical acclaim for Michael Clayton I certainly expected a better film. It’s not a bad film; it’s just not all I hoped it would be. Sure, George Clooney is fantastic and truly acting once again, and Tilda Swinton’s performances is superbly eccentric, as always. And the story is especially engaging, true. But I very much disliked the verbal assault that greeted me over the opening credits, and that really set a bad tone for me and the film. I am completely on board with establishing character, and I understand that Tom Wilkinson’s character had to be shown as completely unhinged, but I have seen many other effective methods of portraying this without being subjected to such an onslaught of profanity and crudity that I truly just can’t ignore. No matter how “realisitic” it may be. Greeted with that before meeting a single character just set me against Wilkinson’s Arthur Edens from the start, and any time I suspected a repeat performance within the film, I simply skipped the scene and caught up with the story. Such a thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth and taints what is otherwise a very good film. But I have no tolerance, and because of this I’ll only recommend Michael Clayton to a select few and with a strong warning, not to mention the instruction to just skip the first scene entirely.
image from Rotten Tomatoes