Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Two Clooneys

On a flight from Nashville to Kansas City, my traveling companion began watching Leatherheads on his laptop. He was using headphones, but I didn't need to hear it to know what was going on. This is a terrible movie and George Clooney is playing the goof again. He's clenching his jaw and rolling his eyes and gesticulating out of control. Much like he did in Intolerable Cruelty and to a a lesser extent in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Clooney also has another character up his sleeve. The smooth, calm, collected, uber-cool, somewhat smug guy he played in Michael Clayton, Good Night and Good Luck and Out of Sight.

Given the two, he needs to retire the goofball, the clown, the keystone cop. Playing it broad diminishes his good looks and puts his acting on par with mediocre college summer stock theater.

Apparently Clooney is a big practical joker in real life and maybe he wants people to know he doesn't take life too seriously. (Nobody should ever doubt this. He wore a bat suit with nipples, for Christ's sake.) He needs to fight the urge and stick to what he does best. The gray-templed, square-jawed reincarnation of Cary Grant. George Clooney needs to be George Clooney, the movie star.

Final note: I realize that O Brother Where Art Thou was well received. Give credit where it's due. The Coen Brothers.

Final note: Clooney directed Clooney in Leatherheads. He can only blame himself for this turkey.


PIPER said...


I'm with you on this. While I love O Brother Where Art Thou, I much prefer the smoother, more Cary Grant-like Clooney.

Out of Sight is one of my top movies.

He also plays this type of character in Burn After Reading.

Moviezzz said...

"I realize that O Brother Where Art Thou was well received"

Not by all.

Entertainment Weekly, and myself, named it on the ten worst list for the year. I despised O BROTHER, mainly for Clooney's smug performance (and I normally like the guy).

I still stand by the belief that if anyone else's name was on the film as director, the reviews would have been a lot worse. Some people see the Coen's name, and write the rave before seeing the film. Same with Soderbergh.

brian said...


I didn't really like "Oh Brother" either. But I am a Coen Brothers fan. "Fargo" is about as good as a movie can get, in my opinion.


Pat said...

I couldn't make it more than 20 minutes into this before I had to pop the DVD out in disgust. But, for me, it was Renee Zellwegger who sent me over the edge. Watching her trying to be Barbara Stanwyck was just painful.

RC said...

i couldn't agree more...

clooney's goof-ball character some how is overdone, while the other smooth character is so enjoyable.

Sarah said...

I love the goof that Clooney plays in "O Brother Where Art Thou" but I agree, he tends to overplay such roles.

As befitting the nephew of Rosemary Clooney, George fits much better as a Rat Pack type -- suave, handsome and downright cool.