Genre-bending works are more likely to be perceived as worthy of a watch. More so than works that stay encased in one genre. Some writers look at a genre as a cage that needs to be escaped from. Others look at it as the snug pillow which one lays their head on with the promise of a good night sleep.
And then there’s Tony Gilroy. If it isn’t obvious, I am a fan of his work. How else would I know to add this GIF:
And this is the most momentous scene in the entire first act of Gilroy’s masterpiece: Michael Clayton.
Is this worth watching? Yes.
A thriller with noir elements headlined by a lawyer who does a powerful law firms dirty work. George Clooney stars as Michael Clayton, the middle of a trio of brothers, he is a man caught in between a cop, a drug addict, and the complexities found in the world of high-powered attorneys.
Suffering from a gambling addiction and the insolvency of his financial portfolio at the hands of a poor investment and an alcoholic business partner – who also happens to be his brother – Michael is at the end of his rope. Willing to do anything to stop from treading water, he goes about his job as the firm’s janitor with efficiency and unquestioning zeal.
He is the “fixer.”
Whether it’s assisting a bent congressman, or discovering an ingenious way to wheedle around the law to assist the son/daughter of a high-end client with a DUI, Michael is unfazed by the task.
But when the firm’s brilliant defense lawyer, Arthur Edens (played by Tom Wilkinson) loses his mind while at a deposition – he strips naked and runs around a snowy parking lot in his socks – Michael is forced to deal with a man who believes he has found enlightenment in a world lacking humanity. A world Michael thrives in.
A resounding “YES.”
Officially called a legal thriller. There is drama, suspense, redemption, and hard-boiled voice-over.
Tony Gilroy outdid himself with this movie. Both in writing and directing.