This was the penultimate film from Clooney and Soderbergh’s Section Eight company, their attempt to make interesting movies funded by the commercial success of the Oceans series. Good effort guys: Far From Heaven (2002), Syriana, Goodnight, and Good Luck (both 2005), A Scanner Darkly (2006) and Michael Clayton are a worthy legacy. While not exactly a political thriller (like Syriana) it has much in common with ’70s conspiracy thrillers such as The Parallax View (1974) though the resolution of Clayton is different.
In a way is depressing that we can see American films about corporate malfeasance 30-years on suggesting that nothing has changed despite the best efforts of liberal political thrillers; Three Days of the Condor (1975), with its focus on the realpolitik of oil, is just as topical now. However, it’s important these films are made otherwise American cinema, at least, would rarely if ever hold up a critical mirror to its nation.
Filed under: Independent cinema |