Saturday, March 12, 2011
"The American" starring George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli, Violante Placido and directed by Anton Corbijn (best known for his video documentaries of the music legends U2, Metallica and Depeche Mode) is a film that despite its title is very European. George Clooney ("Michael Clayton" "Up in The Air") is an assassin who is at the end of his career by his own choosing after an assignment in Sweden ends very badly for an innocent woman he befriends. He then takes one last assignment which brings him love, and ultimately, the one thing he cannot escape from. I won't spoil it for you by telling you what that is. This film is stark and slow, with some very sexy scenes thrown in for color. I have to admit I never quite connected with the film or George Clooney's character. He is a man who is very controlled and organized but is in love with butterflies. He even has a tattoo of one on his back. There are several scenes throughout the film that involve butterflies, including the ending, but I was never clear as to what significance these butterflies held for him. This film depends on George Clooney to carry it as at times the dialogue is either non-existent or at best it is very cryptic. George does a fine job and looks very serious and thoughtful throughout, but I just couldn't feel anything for him. The call girl he befriends was full of life and brought joy to the film but it wasn't enough to make me care. This is not a thriller - I guess you would call it "a study of an assassin" with some very beautiful Italian countrysides thrown in.