Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Best Actor 2007: George Clooney in Michael Clayton

George Clooney received his second Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character in Michael Clayton.

Michael Clayton in my opinion is a pretty routine thriller about an evil corporation, and its ties with a large law firm.

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.


dshultz said...

Yeah, not to much of a performance.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I thought he was great. What did you think of Wilkinson and Swinton?

Louis Morgan said...

Swinton is good, and I will get to Wilkinson later on.

dinasztie said...

I think he was good.

Michael Patison said...

I frankly do not see any of what made this film the oft-nominated affair that it was. I was often bored by what was happening, and the writing was disconnected only adding to the general boredom that I experienced. I disagree with your assessment of Clooney, though. I tend to really like Clooney (especially where you hated him in Up in the Air), and I much preferred every other lead performance that he has been nominated for (I haven't seen Syriana). I think he should have received fewer than 2.5 Jacks, somewhere closer to 1.5 to 2 at maximum. Swinton did her job effectively but didn't deserve her win. For me, Wilkinson was the best part of the film. He had the best dialogue and he should've been utilized far more than he was. If Wilkinson had been used more, the film wouldn't have been tremendously better, but at least it would've been more entertaining.

Mitchell Murray said...

I'd give him a 4: I thought he was superb - easily the best of his oscar nominated performances... sue me.