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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando


Tom Wilkinson and George Clooney in Michael Clayton (Warner Brothers)

Titling a film with a character's name is always tricky. Hamlet or Hoffa work because the names resonate with an audience. But calling a film Charlie Bartlett or Maxie or Who is Cletis Tout? can leave a marketing team with the difficult task of selling the film to an audience. (And by the way, none of those three made a dent at the box office.) So when it comes to the new film Michael Clayton (opened Oct. 12 throughout San Diego), the title alone may do little to stir public interest. But in this case, the marketing department has the benefit of being able to pair the lackluster title with the name and image of its star George Clooney. Now you have something that may have some drawing power.

Michael Clayton has another name worth mentioning: Tony Gilroy. Gilroy has scripted all three of the successful Bourne films and now he makes his feature directing debut with a story about a lawyer, corporate greed and a nasty conspiracy.

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