170. Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut (A+)
171. About Schmidt (A-)
172. Drive (B)
173. Hugo (A)
174. Ed Wood (A+)
175. Out of Sight (A)
176. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (B-)
Continuing with my informal George Clooney week, his 2002 directorial debut, which was previously the only one of his four films that I hadn't seen. Clooney, unlike a lot of actor-directors, usually doesn't take the lead in his own movies (only in the overlooked Leatherheads
, and even there he was co-lead), though he's always there in some capacity.
I spent most of the movie thinking what an unorthodox choice this seemed for Clooney when compared with his later work, but when looking at the end credits I realized it had a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, which explains a lot. And, honestly, this feels like a mismatch of writer and director. Kaufman screenplays need directors who really gel with his unique sensibility, like Jonze and Gondry; Clooney tries (indeed, this is by far the most visually interesting of his films), but his instincts are just different from Kaufman's, both in terms of comedy and drama. Either of those other directors, or maybe the Coen Brothers (with whom Clooney frequently collaborates), would be better choices for this material.
That said, it's not a bad movie by any means. Well-acted, there aren't really any bad scenes, and there's memorable stuff; but it just doesn't click to the poin of becoming anything beyond decent. And to be honest, while I think Clooney's a mismatch as director, this doesn't feel like Kaufman's most incisive work either.