G E O R G E   C L O O N E Y

THE AMERICAN


 For the first time in a while Hollywood’s favorite actor George Clooney steps outside his comfort zone of popular, flashy, and fast talking film roles and into what can only be described as a foreign film with an American star. Academy Award winner Clooney can often be found spending his vacation time in Italy, so it should be no surprise that he stars in and produced a film that took only about a month to film. The only thing “American” besides the title about this film is Clooney and the language. The remainder of actors, crew and acclaimed director Anton Corbijn (Control) solidify this film as a picture that should catch typical Clooney fans off guard, and make a fan out of those anti-mainstream skeptics who are not.

 International assassin and weapons specialist Jack (Clooney) flees to Italy after his new life is uncovered and ruined in Sweden. Known for takings risks and falling in love, Jack says the job he is presented with in the small town of Italy will be his last. Living in isolation, even the quietest man can draw attention from the locals. As Jack works on building a weapon, he meets and falls in love with a young prostitute and once again is willing to risk everything for love. Jack’s overly suspicious nature alerts him fairly quickly that there might be more behind this last job than meets the eye.

 While my description of the plot sounds a bit typical the film is anything but. The cinematography here is very alluring, shot in the fall season against small, unpopulated towns in Italy’s countryside this is an unlikely setting for a Clooney film but that’s the draw here. Most unusual compared to his recent films like Michael Clayton and Syriana, Clooney’s role here is mostly without dialogue and much more about internal character development which only reaffirms Clooney’s talent as an actor. Focused on his every blink, the entire film is devoted to Clooney and his character’s subtle behaviorisms.

 I can’t help but be reminded of Tilda Swinton’s recent film I Am Love, also Italian, and how Italian films take on a pace that most audiences will be bored by. The slow moving camera angles like the opening shot of the film, the lack of musical score in many scenes where we just hear nature talking, or the long takes without much editing. Corbijn has created a thriller unlike anything we have seen recently, it’s exactly the opposite of a Bourne or Bond type movie, because by the end the reasons or motives are not important, instead it’s the internal struggle and experiences the character works through that make the film memorable.

 Final Thought – A beautiful Italian/American hybrid film and one of Clooney’s best performances.


Grade B+

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Jennifer Gih