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'Michael Clayton' in the Age of Netflix

First Draught
'Michael Clayton' in the Age of Netflix
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #127 • View online
Michael Clayton is a great film. I was reminded of this fact a few days ago on Twitter. Not that I needed to be reminded — I tweet about the movie, a lot, and have over the past decade. Starting when I tweeted about seeing it in a movie theater, because that’s how we used to use Twitter.
It’s sort of fascinating to look back on the movie now. Both because it still seems relatively new yet it features flip phones and Blackberrys, but more so because I’m just not sure this is the type of film that plays in a movie theater these days.
Maybe it gets there simply because of George Clooney. And maybe the fact that it was Tony Gilroy’s directorial debut after having written all of the Bourne films helps too. But a Marvel superhero blockbuster Michael Clayton is not. 
Hell, it’s almost more like a play.
And that’s part of what makes it so great. A big part. It’s very well written and very well acted. But it’s just not your typical movie theater fare in 2018. Instead, I have to believe Michael Clayton would still exist, but it would likely exist on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or the like.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it many regards, that’s probably a very good thing. Michael Clayton did okay in theaters, earning just under $50 million domestically. (This would be considered very small these days, though that was double its budget.) But it may have done even better as a tentpole film for a service like Netflix. Because it’s exactly the type of movie that should reach a massive audience on Netflix as a new release there.
In a bit of coincidental timing, I got a push notification that Michael Clayton became available on Netflix yesterday. And I had to wonder if it wouldn’t have started out there these days. 
Anyway, great movie, highly recommended. 
Drinking: a latte, because it’s 7 in the morning. ☕️

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So great.
So great.
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M.G. Siegler

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