I am a lover of the fall film. As a screenwriter, these are the kinds of films I aspired to write. Masterful, tour de force explorations of the human soul, in which characters undergo the kind of life-shattering experiences that force them to change. In these movies, the characters we root for nearly always rise to the occasion. They accept the challenge, they do battle (with themselves and the outside world), and often achieve their outside goals. But even if they do not, they are transformed by the journey, made better for having endeavored toward some hard-to-attain goal — which makes for a happy ending of a whole ‘nother sort. I think here of a movie like Michael Clayton, writer/director Tony Gilroy’s beautiful masterpiece about a law firm fixer who comes face to face with his demons, and decides to wrestle them down. George Clooney’s Clayton looks who he’s been and what he’s been a part of in the eye. And though we can’t imagine how he fares after the end credits — what will he do for a living? who will he be now that his conversion experience is complete? — we leave the theatre or turn off the DVD believing that the low places have been made high.
Tags: Arbitrage, Brit Marling, FILM, Film & TV, FILM DRAMA, MOVIES, Nicholas Jarecki, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, The Culture, The Power Of Story