George Clooney received his second Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character in Michael Clayton.
George Clooney is an actor many people do find very charming, and say he has a certain ease, and sway on screen. I could not disagree more with these statements, since I almost always find him to be an actor who tries to be charming, but frankly tries to hard, and I just never feel he really has that interesting of a screen presence either. He never really is that charismatic of a performer either, to me he just isn't.
In this film I will say he does not at all try overly hard to be charming, since he is playing a down and out fixer for a law firm. The down and out character is no stranger to Oscar consideration, and no strange character for Clooney who won the Oscar for portraying the down and out character in Syriana.
In portraying this down and out character of Michael Clayton who shows just an annoyed, and tired reaction to the slightest job he is given, or the slightest thing he is given to do. Clooney I will say does make a tired face. Just making a tired face is not good enough, the actor needs to try to convey more than that through more. Clooney in this film does it just slightly, but does not convey nearly enough to make this a really effective performance.
In a thriller like this one must carry the film. A lead in a film like this is extremely important, because they are the one pulling the audience along through the journey of the film, and should probably create some sort of empathy or connection with the audience. Clooney fails to really do this in my opinion, since I never really find him to be a compelling or charming lead.
Clooney's performance is not terrible though, and probably is one of his better performances. Clooney does manage to be realistic enough in the role, and avoids being just Clooney. I really do not think he creates a compelling or, all that individualistic of a character either. For me it just is not ever an interesting performance, that fails to make the film at all compelling or interesting.