I like characters.  I like characters more when they actually do something.  I like nuance.  I like nuance more when it isn’t just for the sake of nuance.  I actually think John just about nailed it with his original thoughts – a review I believe he’d now like to recant.  Adam must have gotten to him or something.

I’m just struggling to understand why a drama with little to no discernible drama, thrills, or suspense has garnered so much acclaim.   Sure, it is an exaggeration to say the plot was entirely linear, there were maybe three kinks in there.  Of course, if one of those Kinks isn’t Ray Davies, what’s the point?  Ah, British Invasion humor!So’s I don’t get lynched, let me first say I’m perfectly fine with the acting nominations.  I can’t quite explain what it is, but Tom Wilkinson creeps the heck out of me each time I see him on screen, and this role certainly didn’t help my nightmares.  But he was definitely solid.  I think that if their characters had any meat to them, I’d be full force in favor of Clooney and Swinton, but given what they had, sure, I don’t have any real complaints.

I get that there are shades of grey, the “moral ambiguity” to use John’s phrase.  And I appreciate that.  But I absolutely refuse to believe that nuanced characters staring blankly at a subpar plot will ever make a good movie.  Almost right from the start I found myself virtually not caring about what happened.  In fact, I’d argue that the textured characters hurt the movie, in that respect.  If Michael Clayton is your more standard sympathetic hero, if Tilda Swinton’s character is your Cruella de Vil bad guy, then maybe the movie becomes a little more compelling.  I grant that would have been almost totally uninteresting.  But instead, the nuanced characters lay bare the inadequacies of the plot.

In other words, the movie was boring.  And hey, maybe if you spend all your time figuring out the nuances or admiring the characters,  you can get distracted from that fact.  But I guess that’s why I can’t really stand art galleries, huh?

Two quick notes.  First, I’m fine with the horsey scene.  Deus ex machina never really bothered me any, so I don’t really care whether the picture in the book made him get out of the car or not.  It made the story more interesting, so I had beef.  Willing suspension of disbelief and all that.  Also, I like horsies.  I do distinctly remember thinking that one of them seemed to be mugging for the camera.

And second, I suppose any movie with Ken Howard can’t be all bad.  I’ll give it that much.