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#255. George Clooney

Some actors are easily recognizable. From their face to their physique, many famous actors can be immediately identifiable by these visual characteristics. Similarly, some actors have unique and recognizable voices that are often heard in voiceovers and other audible media. The double threat of an actor comes when their look and their voice are both easily identifiable. When an audience no longer sees an actor and asks, “Isn’t that, so-and-so?” and instead exclaims, “It’s him!” an actor has genuinely made it in Hollywood. Granted, it might take some time for an actor to make a name for himself, but if he has good looks and a recognizable voice, it’s likely he’ll make it in Hollywood quite quickly. George Clooney is definitely a recognizable actor in today’s Hollywood. This week’s two films focus on some of his acting efforts.

The Perfect StormThe Perfect Storm
Year: 2000
Rating: PG-13
Length: 130 minutes / 2.17 hours

Like many other actors, George Clooney started his acting on the small screen of television. In the mid to late-1990s, he starred in ER while at the same time getting his feet wet acting on the big screen. While most of his early roles were in films that were critically panned or just plain goofy, when the new millennium hit, Clooney had a lot of success in the film industry. With films by the Coen Brothers (O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and Intolerable Cruelty (2003)) and Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Solaris (2002), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), The Good German (2006), and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)) featuring George Clooney, he quickly found that his success was now well ingrained in American culture. This being said, the one film that started him on this string of successful roles was that of The Perfect Storm (2000).

Because of the unprofitable catch of fish for the Andrea Gail, Captain Billy Tyne (George Clooney) needs to go out for one more expedition before the season ends in order to break even. Since he cannot fish with his boat alone, he has to convince his crew to join him on a last-ditch effort in a generally dangerous time of year. Despite some of his regulars not feeling comfortable about the trip, he manages to find a full crew and sets out. At first, they come up with nothing. As they continue to head further out, they hit the motherlode. Unfortunately, a storm has built behind them, and it’s up to Billy to guide the ship safely back to Massachusetts. Taking the full brunt of the storm, the crew cannot catch a break as water floods their boat, winds rip off communication equipment, and waves threaten to capsize them.

The DescendantsThe Descendants
Year: 2011
Rating: R
Length: 115 minutes / 1.92 hours

As an actor, George Clooney has been nominated for an Oscar several times, but these accolades didn’t start arriving until 2005 when he was nominated (and won) for his supporting role in Syriana. By this time in his career, he was also starting to direct films, as is usually the case for actors who find they are multi-talented. In fact, he has received just as many Oscar nominations and wins through his non-acting roles as he has for his acting ones. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) saw Clooney nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, while The Ides of March (2011) garnered him another nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He won his non-acting Oscar for Argo, the Best Picture of 2012. Of course, Michael Clayton (2007), Up in the Air (2009), and The Descendants (2011) garnered him his three nominations for Best Actor, none of which resulted in a win.

While Matt King (George Clooney) is good with his money, the rest of his family has not developed the same skill. Consequently, because he is the sole person responsible for their family trust of 25,000 acres of land on Kauai, all of his cousins are pressuring him to sell the land to developers because of a rule that limits the amount of time they have to make a decision on the property. Meanwhile, with two difficult daughters and a comatose wife, Matt learns that his wife was having an affair with a man who is incidentally linked to the possible sale of the family land. Partly because he does not want to give the adulterous man the huge commission that would result from this, he makes the decision to keep the land and figure out a solution to the rule against perpetuities. The cousins are irate, but Matt feels this is the right decision. Concurrently, he also comes to terms with his wife’s situation and allows her to die peacefully.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 great George Clooney performances

Bacon #: 2 (Spy Kids / Teri Hatcher -> The Big Picture / Kevin Bacon)

11 responses to “#255. George Clooney

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