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Compelling dramas

George Clooney gets serious; Daniel Radcliffe leaves Potter behind
/ Source: msnbc.com

Whether they’re Oscar bait or not, dramas rule the early fall season. Actors like George Clooney get to put “Ocean’s” on the shelf for a bit and do some real acting. Even “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe gets a chance to build his post-Potter legacy. But not all dramas are created equal; family fare like “Goal II Living the Dream,” makes this category more of a middle than heavy weight.

“Michael Clayton”
Starring:
George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Pamela GrayDirector: Tony GilroyStory: Michael Clayton (Clooney) is a corporate “fixer” who handles the dirty work at the Kenner, Bach & Ledeen law firm. He’s burnt out, dealing with divorce and a mountain of debt. When brilliant lawyer Arthur Edens (Wilkinson) has a clash of conscience that leads him to try to sabotage a big case, the boss (Pollack) sends Clayton to reign him in. But will Clayton be able to do his job without having his own crisis of conscience? Buzz: This looks a bit like Michael Mann’s “The Insider,” with Clooney in the Al Pacino role and Wilkinson (“In the Bedroom”) in the Russell Crowe role. If this is half as smart as that film, it should be a good ride, and could result in awards for Wilkinson or Clooney. This is the directing debut for Gilroy, who’s made his name as a screenwriter, collaborating on all three “Bourne” films, as well as “Armaggedon” and “The Devil’s Advocate.”Web site: http://michaelclayton.warnerbros.com/Release date: Oct. 5

The Final Season