Michael Clayton (US, 2007)

Finding your soul

Finding your soul

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.

3 Responses

  1. I thought Michael Clayton was brilliant. Tilda Swinton and George Clooney have never been better and I am sure if Daniel Day Lewis had not been in There Will Be Blood, George would have won the Oscar, I thought it was fantastic

  2. […] All the President’s Men (1976), one of the key paranoia thrillers on the ’70s and, like Michael Collins (2007) and Syriana (2005), State of Play draws upon that era’s […]

  3. […] many interesting films. In some ways, when for example compared to the corporate malfeasance in Michael Clayton, The Descendents is slight. It’s focus is on the dynamics of family life headed by the […]

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