Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quiet, Unassuming Super Star



Hey... this just became one of those "live blogs" (which sounds like something from the sewers) — that's right, I'm writing this live from my couch as I'm watching Tilda Swinton accept her BAFTA for best supporting actress for her role in Michael Clayton. I saw this film last night at the Revue and I can see why it would go unnoticed. It's just got no flash, no pazazz yet it is thought provoking, and quietly builds to a moment of righteous justice. Swinton plays the role of the lawyer/executive of a fictitious Agri-chemical concern called U-North (can you say, "Monsanto"?) who is a bundle of nerves trying desperately to appear in control of the uncontrollable. What's interesting about her character is how we see just how scared this outwardly assured woman is and in a slightly pathetic way, how hard she is trying to please "The Board" (yup, a group of suited old white guys). George Clooney plays the title character who is "the fixer" at a large and successful law firm. What a "Fixer" really does is a little beyond me, but it is explained simply as the janitor who cleans up whatever mess needs cleaning up. It might be getting a juicey piece of information from someone, or keeping information from someone else. Clooney tiredly does his job, knowing that he's not earning any wings while doing it. I guess that's really what the film is about. The complete lack of ethics in American business today and the toll it takes on its executors. Even writing that now, seems to make sense — Executives | Executors | Execution; Businessmen | Lawyers | Killers. But there is redemption, you just have to give up most of your career to achieve it. Shame really, because your career gave you such nice suits.

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