I know lots of people were impressed by Tony Gilroy’s directing debut Michael Clayton. I came away thinking it was a classy John Grisham thriller. It looked nice, it was acted very nicely by Tilda Swinton, George Clooney and Tom Wilkenson and it has a glossy sheen to it. At the end of the day though it’s still just a John Grisham thriller.
But it proved that Gilroy could more than hold his own as a director, after decades of being one of Hollywood’s premiere screenwriters. His followup movie is Duplicity, with Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. Certainly Gilroy knows how to put a cast together.
Official Plot: CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence to cash in on the highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure the formula for a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first.
For their employers-industry titan Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and buccaneer CEO Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti)- nothing is out of bounds. But as the stakes rise, the mystery deepens and the tactics get dirtier, the trickiest secret for Claire and Ray is their growing attraction. And as they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their schemes endangered by the only thing they can’t cheat their way out of: love.
Duplicity hits theaters on March 20, 2009. Good luck opening near Watchmen.