Here at the Tilda Swinton Fan Club, we would be happy to see her in a Burger King commercial. But when she co-stars in a solid thriller like Michael Clayton — well, let’s just say we’re orgasmic. No, scratch that. Delighted, that’s the word. Well, quite pleased.
Swinton’s turn as the amoral, paranoid corporate lawyer — who defeats her Arrid Extra Dry in the first 10 minutes of the film — is sheer genius. She’s definitely on the short list for best supporting actress; you read it here first. Swinton has this way of making her eyes opaque, like a shark, while the rest of her exudes acute desperation — the kind you get when you’re in over your head and need to make sure no living person ever finds out the things you’ll do to stay afloat.
George Clooney, in the title role, isn’t bad either. He plays a “fixer,” a corporate lawyer who no longer practices law, but cleans up the sort of messes that can crop up for any major U.S. agrochemical corporation. At some point, he begins to question if this latest mess isn’t beyond redemption.
It’s impossible to say much more about the plot without giving it away. While the movie’s choice of corporate America as the root of all evil might be a bit too predictable and preachy, the writing is superb and the direction is subtle. No gunfights here, or car chases; only one car explosion. I liked it anyway. The story is nuanced enough to warrant a second viewing, but it’s not the sort of piece that leaves you scratching your head when you’re leaving the cineplex. I’d say it may the best film I’ve seen this year. (Which is not saying a great deal, since the last film I saw at a theater may well have been Ratatouille.)
Still, fours stars out of five. Three thumbs up. Two winks and a kiss. Dave Bob says check it out.