On THE AMERICAN movie trailer, George Clooney, and Spenser Tracy

“You’ve done much sinning.”

“All men are sinners, Father. Everything I’ve done, I’ve had good cause to do.”

… from the upcoming film THE AMERICAN

George Clooney is an actor, who early on with his work on ER distinguished himself as someone to watch. To be on the lookout for. His understated manner, with self effacing downward looks, that seemed not so much a style as a state. Not so much acting as being.

And he’s lived up to that small screen promise, with powerhouse performances in big screen films such as:

PEACEMAKER: An under the radar action flick, that takes the mold of James Bond or Bourne Supremacy and grounds it in some stellar performances and action sequences. Directed by Mimi Leder of ER fame, it is one of my favorite action films, in large part due to the humanity Leder brings to the scenes, there is a price to pay for the violence in her films. And Clooney’s performance, his ability to show that price… anchors and elevates the movie.

OUT OF SIGHT: I think my favorite of all the Soderbergh/Clooney pairings. In large part due to the chemistry of Clooney and Lopez.

And he’s done everything from the OCEANS films, to Coen comedies to MICHAEL CLAYTON to THE GOOD GERMAN to SOLARIS with varying degrees of effectiveness.

But for me where Clooney’s unconventional strengths shine… is in the conventional trappings of the action or thriller movie. It is here where his understated, but heart-felt, performance, where his character’s struggling toward grace, stands out from what passes for action heroes. He comes across (in his thriller films) very much as Spenser Tracy in BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK as an actor who can do more with a whisper than everyone else can do with shouts.

So the fact that George Clooney has only done 2 action/thriller movies is I think unfortunate.

However, having watched the previews of his upcoming THE AMERICAN (check out the trailer here), this looks like one that will get me in theaters, and if it lives up to its preview I’ll be adding it to my DVD collection, beside PEACEMAKER and OUT OF SIGHT. (Assuming of course Anton Corbijn, relatively new director with only one feature to his name, the Joy Division bio-pic CONTROL, can steer the ship, on a very different type of film. Time will tell.)

And also I absolutely digg that poster. a great throwback to the pop art sensibilities that posters used to convey. All in all, it looks like a film to catch.