Monday, October 15, 2007

Michael Clayton

It's been a long time since I've seen a movie that was this good.

Sometimes I find it's hard to really describe what makes a movie better than others and really worth seeing. Last year when I saw Crash I had that same feeling. I think what it makes it so good is what I like to call, the "Stick Factor".

The Stick Factor

When you leave a movie you are always a little disoriented at first. Maybe it's the blood moving through your body again after you just spend a few hours sitting in a chair. Maybe it's the bunker effect, seeing different environments or situations that are different than your current one and then being disoriented when you re-enter your surroundings. Either way, you almost feel like you're lost in the realm of the movie. The Stick Factor is when you feel that way even long after the movie has ended.

Multiple times I've caught myself revisiting portions of the movie. Rethinking the events that occurred, the ideas in question, the feel of the characters. Like any job, there are variations of skill level and acting is no exception. George Clooney, as much as you love or hate him, has the skill level to be in that upper tier in his profession. Somehow you forget everything you know about him as a person and he becomes the character. Everything about his actions in this movie felt real.

The movie is about a janitor. No, his profession is not a janitor, but he's the guy who cleans up the messes. When you are in a bind, this is the man you want. But like many other people, just because you can clean up someone else's mess, doesn't mean you can clean up your own. So Clayton is in a bad situation and he's trying to dig himself out of it right at the worst time. The law firm he works for has reached a critical point with a prominent client that will make or break their future but they need him to make sure that it goes the right way.

At the same time, a prominent partner and friend of Michael's has been struck with a pang of conscience. He is the one who opens Michael's eyes to the fact that they are janitors, and maybe all that they are really doing is spreading the mess they thought they were cleaning around more and more. They are defending those people who are willing to sacrifice anything or anyone else for personal gain, and its wrong.

The way the pieces of this movie tie themselves together is like an intricate spider's web. Each strand is strong and valuable on it's own, but as more and more are woven, the patterns that are displayed become a work of art. It happens so perfectly that you don't realize how deep you are until its all over.

I recommend you see this movie.

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