>How the Truth Can Be Adjusted


Security, stop that man!

Michael Clayton (2007) – According to Wikipedia, a “MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or Maguffin) is a plot device that motivates the characters and/or advances the story, but has little other relevance to the story. The MacGuffin is common in films, especially thrillers. Commonly, though not always, it is the central focus of the film in the first act, and later declines in importance as the struggles and motivations of characters play out. Sometimes the MacGuffin is all but forgotten by the end of the film.” Think of most of Hitchcock thrillers and in more recent times, think of the Jason Bourne trilogy, whom screenwriter – Tony Gilroy, not only wrote Michael Clayton as well as directed it. In the film, George Clooney plays a corporate “fixer” in a big law firm in New York who sees himself involved in the billion dollar suit against U/North, which action is leaded by a bipolar disordered Tom Wilkinson. A little longer we’ll find out the company is being sued by farmers because of a germ-killer (?) the corporation used despite knowing about the awful effects (perhaps, death?) it would have on people.

The introduction is pretty complicated. You see Clooney’s character driving his son to school after picking him up at home where the kid’s mother is in the kitchen in the company of another man who is feeding a baby girl – OK, Clooney’s character must be divorced or something. But is he good or is he bad? Is this movie about the law-suit itself? What the hell is U/North? And then suddenly, he parks his car in a distant area outside the city. He leaves the car. A couple of minutes later, his car explodes, just like that. So, someone is setting him up, someone wants to kill him. But, why? The second part of the film is about what happened in the past days before the car explosion, until the story comes back to the present time. In the meantime, we’ll be introduced to Tilda Swinton‘s character, a cold and ambitous litigator behind the U/North issue. Just one single scene is enough for the audience to picture her personality. The character is seen rehearsing each line she intends to say on an interview which is probably about her career. To make this sutil moment even more powerful, the frames of the methodic rehearsal are cross-cut with the actual interview. In the few scenes she plays, Swinton gives one of the best female performances of the year, but she’s so underrated that I won’t even hope for any award recognition. As for the film, besides it narrative complexity it didn’t bore me for a second, and I’d never really expect such an ending. That’s when I realized I had no idea who Michael Clayton was.

I say – What’s exactly inside the red covered notebook?

15 Comments to “>How the Truth Can Be Adjusted”

  1. >I love George Clooney I also love the way that girl is wearing a shirt as a skirt in the post belowit looks so cool

  2. >Aqui no Brasil vai ser chamado Conduta de Risco, vê se pode? Dias atrás pouco me interessava esse trabalho do Clooney, tb pensei q poderia passar batido, mas quem disse? Esses caras tem uma força em Hollywood que só Deus sabe.A temática política é uma constante na carreira do Clooney ultimamente e anseio demais para ver como a Tilda Swinton, uma das melhores atrizes da atualidade se sairá, a Academia tem que algum dia reconhecer, ao menos com uma indicação o trabalho dessa mulher!

  3. >I'm pretty confused about the film.And I also need those shoes, I need winter shoes other than keds.x sara o

  4. >thank you very much for your book recommendations – very helpful :)i also just realised i haven't linked you – i meant to ages ago, but obviously forgot with the terrible memory of mine! will do now thoughx

  5. >Romeika, eu acho que, mesmo desconhecida e mal valorizada, a Tilda Swinton vai conseguir indicação ao Oscar. Acho que, do elenco desse filme, existem boas chances também para o Tom Wilkinson. Mas, não esperaria muitas indicações nas categorias principais do Oscar.

  6. >Estou muito ansioso por esse filme. Me interessei pela densidade da trama desde que o primeiro (e ótimo) trailer foi divulgado – já deu para sentir que é um trabalho diferenciado. Apesar de muitos não confiarem, acho que deve ser indicado a vários Oscars, como melhor filme, ator e roteiro – além dos coadjuvantes, Tom Wilkinson e Tilda Swinton, que para mim já estão garantidos.Abraço!

  7. >I wasn't initially that interested in this movie, but after that write-up, I think I must go see it.

  8. >Nossa, fiquei curiosa para ver.Me pareceu meio confuso o filme, mas quero ver as as atuações…Não acho o George Clooney um excelente ator, mas gosto muito de Tilda Swinton. Bjsssssssssssssssssssss

  9. >hm I never knew about 'macguffin' hahathank you for letting me know and adding to my knowledge bank!

  10. >i'm so interested.. i so want to see that movie!!molly*

  11. >we named my cat McGuffin because my mom and family are such film buffs….she is 13 now!

  12. >I saw this movie Saturday and it's great. I was a bit lost here and there, but it fit marvelously together at the end. I want to see it a second time, so I can better understand the intricacies. Don't let my confusion dissuade you from seeing the movie, though, George Cloony is wonderful and Tilda Swinton is spot on.Lars and the Real Girl is also very good, if you like quirky people and story plots.

  13. >Wanderley, essa mudança de título é insensata, visto que o título original (simples e direto), já diz muito da história do filme. E realmente o Clooney abraçou esse tipo de produção, seja na direção ou atuação ou ambos. Eu gosto. Quanto a Swinton, tb torço pelo seu reconhecimento.Sara, i was a little, too. I'd like to see it again.Emsie, you're welcome, and thanks for the linking!Kamila e Vinícius, como vcs estão por dentro do buzz do Oscar, fico feliz em saber das chances da Tilda Swinton, ela está excelente no filme, e já merece reconhecimento há tempos. Vinícius, é uma história densa, sim, parece mais uma história comum sobre a corrupção de grandes corporações à primeira vista, mas é bem mais do que isso. Abs!The Clothes Horse, welcome here and yes, you should give this film a chance, it's actually good.Jen, i didn't know about macguffins until a while ago:-p But always glad to spread any interesting knowledges;-)Jessica, *LOL* Sweet:-)Seraphine, yes, it does fit marvelously, as i didn't have many interrogations by the end, though i'd like to see it a second time for the same reason as yours. What do you mean let your confusion dissuade me from seeing the film, as i have seen it already?:-p Oh well, i don't get what you mean *lol* I didn't know about "Lars and the Real Girl", Ryan Gosling is in it (?), a reason enough for make me wanna see it. Too bad there's no release date here so far:-SEveryone else, thanks for the comments and watch the film if you can. ^^

  14. >OUTRO??? Nossa, vamos trocar de lugar?

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