Michael Clayton. I love this movie. (Previously.) Clooney has the lead role, but Wilkinson (incredible) and Swinton bring in the color and the contrast – each of the three responding to the ongoing toll of their work. Other good slow-burning corporate conspiracy mood movies? Gotta check out Arbitrage and The Conversation.
Three Days of the Condor. Dang, this movie is so fun. There aren’t many spy films with such appeal to your daydream fantasy fulfillment side, that seem almost within reach. The protagonist here? Just a dork with a day job that mainly involves reading about espionage – news, novels, magazines – and reporting on new ideas. BUT then he becomes the object of various gun-related machinations, and now he’s got to think his way out. There’s some strange sexual politics and some really good writing and some refreshing characterization. Redford and Dunaway are great. It took me a second to figure out why Max von Sydow looked familiar. Worth checking out.
Eyes Wide Shut. I didn’t love it, but I’ll put it in the plus column for Stanley Kubrick. The cult scene had some wonderful tension. I also respect his willingness to let scenes slow down to a near stand-still, like during Kidman’s monologues. And he’s got a great way with music and musical commentary (the Shostakovich waltz; “When I Fall In Love”; “Stranger in the Night”). My Kubrick rankings (there’s considerable distance between #3 and #4):
Michael Clayton. I was really impressed with this movie. Love the mood and pacing. Tom Wilkinson is brilliant. Tilda Swinton is great. Clooney is Clooney.