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MICHAEL CLAYTON: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
At the behest of the firm's co-founder Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), Michael Clayton (George Clooney), a former prosecutor from a family of cops, takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen's dirtiest work; he cleans up clients' messes. But a divorce, his gambling and a failed business venture have left him with a large debt. At the agrichemical company U/North, the career of in-house counsel Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) rests on the multi-million dollar settlement of a class action suit over potential harm to humans, that Clayton's firm is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. When Kenner, Bach & Ledeen's top litigator, the brilliant Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), has an apparent breakdown and tries to sabotage the U/North case, Clayton is sent to tackle this unprecedented disaster and in doing so comes face to face with the reality of what he has become.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Whatever good storytelling skills Tony Gilroy has (as demonstrated by the Bourne trilogy scripts) he has allowed to get a bit jumbled in this fairly standard corruption thriller. The central story arc is carried by the ever-credible George Clooney as Michael Collins the 'janitor' at a Big Law Firm in New York. His cleaning tasks involve the firm's big clients who get into a spot of trouble - like hit and run accidents. It takes a nasty chemical company to get him and the firm's top attack lawyer Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), to see the error of their ways.

The complex bunch of relationships inside the firm and in Collins' private life is drawn with limited clarity, eroding our involvement with them. But there is enough dirty business and clean-up business to make up for that as we discover how badly some lawyers and some corporate execs can behave. None too subtle nor wildly original, Michael Collins is nevertheless good escapist entertainment where the moral boundaries are clear and the resolution is satisfyingly just.

Tom Wilkinson is nice'n fruity and Tilda Swinton makes a hissable villainess whose muscle team can read her deadly coded language. It's not a truly great film but has some of the screen's most authoritative actors delivering serious dialogue and living under pressure. Tension is well maintained throughout, even if at the expense of some clarity.

DVD special features include an audio commentary with director Tony Gilroy & film editor John Gilroy, plus additional scenes with optional commentary.

Published March 20, 2008



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MICHAEL CLAYTON: DVD (MA15+)
(US, 2007)

CAST: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Michael O'Keefe, Denis O'Hare, Robert Prescott, Austin Williams,Sean Cullen, Merritt Wever, David Lansbury

PRODUCER: Jennifer Fox, Kerry Orent, Sydney Pollack, Steve Samuels

DIRECTOR: Tony Gilroy

SCRIPT: Tony Gilroy

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Elswit

EDITOR: John Gilroy

MUSIC: James Newton Howard

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kevin Thompson

RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 18, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary with director Tony Gilroy & film editor John Gilroy; Additional Scenes with commentary by director Tony Gilroy & film editor John Gilroy; Additional Scenes without Commentary

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: March 19, 2008







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