Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Best Supporting Actor 2007: Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton

Tom Wilkinson received his second Oscar nomination for portraying Arthur Edens in Michael Clayton.

Tom Wilkinson plays a crazed lawyer who suddenly decides that the corporation he is running  a case for is evil. Wilkinson has a rather large challenge with this performance, because he is almost always required to be a rather theatrical crazy. This is not overacting either, as it is required for the part, if Arthur Edens was subtly crazy than it would be rather unlikely that anyone would really take that great of a notice for him.

In fact Wilkinson does create a fairly interesting performance as the more than slightly off lawyer. I think there is always an indication that yes he is indeed imbalanced even when he has calmed down, but I would say Wilkinson shows that his big crazy scenes are indeed a bit theatrical on purpose, as stated as before, but that is not to say he is not crazy, he just overdoes it to be taken notice of.

Wilkinson is constantly sort of showboating though with his performance, that constantly does brings attention to himself. Wilkinson is able to do this showboating without going too over the top while still being fairly interesting and entertaining as well. He manages to find a good enough balance between his louder, and quieter scenes to make it so Arthur Edens can be believed.

 Tom Wilkinson's performance though is a rather short one really, and his character does not amount to a great deal in the end. He is really crazy, not so crazy, but always the moral center of the film. This is not really Wilkinson's fault since Edens in the end is mostly a plot device. Wilkinson is effective enough with the various phases of the character, but his performance never becomes quite amazing due to the limitations of the character.

5 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

He's quite loud here, best way to describe what I think of him.

Anonymous said...

I thought he was brilliant. he'd probably be my second choice after Bardem.

mrripley said...

Nothing special really and ifeel Clooney owns the breadsticks in the street scene.

Michael Patison said...

He's be my #3. He was the saving grace in an otherwise boring-as-hell, unfocused film. I normally like Clooney, contrary to most of the other people on this blog, and I even loved him Up in the Air, though I only thought he was average in Syriana and The Descendants, but he was absolutely dreadful in Michael Clayton. I will admit that he has a relatively small acting range, however. The movie was just plain boring and bad. It's only good scenes were those with Tom Wilkinson doing his crazy man routine.

Louis Morgan said...

Well I do think he is the best part of the film, but I agree with you about the film entirely.