Cook Library Cinema Club: George Clooney
Actor George Clooney has reason to celebrate this week! The famous bachelor turned 53 on May 6th -- and also just announced that he is officially off the market. Yes -- he's engaged! Sorry, ladies! So much for all those claims over the years that he would never get married! The lucky woman is 35 year-old Amal Alamuddin, a lawyer specializing in international law and human rights issues.
Clooney spent many years working in television before finally hitting it big on the silver screen in the mid-1990's, co-starring in such popular TV series as ER and The Facts of Life. These days, the talented actor is able to pick and choose his film projects, and often writes, directs, and produces them as well. Clooney has been awarded two Oscars thus far in his career: the first for his supporting performance in the intense thriller Syriana, and most recently for his role in producing the 2012 Best Picture winner Argo.
Clooney's most recent film, The Monuments Men, is scheduled for DVD release on May 20th. The movie recounts the harrowing, true story of a special international force of men assigned the seemingly impossible mission of saving great works of art in Europe from theft and destruction by the Nazis during WWII. Clooney also directed and wrote the screenplay for the film, which is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter. Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett also star. While you're waiting for your hold on that film to come in, why not check out a few more of Clooney's best movie projects?
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005): David Strathairn delivers a riveting performance as legendary CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow, who famously exposed the flawed logic and fear-mongering surrounding Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist crusade in the 1950's. Clooney lends support in his role as CBS producer Fred Friendly. The film's seven Oscar nominations included nods for Best Picture and Best Actor (Strathairn) -- with Clooney receiving nominations for both Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Syriana (2005): Clooney won his first Oscar for his supporting performance in this smart, fast-paced thriller about big oil, big money, and major-league corruption involving industrialists, royals, politicians, and terrorists across an international playing field. Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer, and Amanda Peet also star.
Michael Clayton (2007): George plays Michael Clayton, a "fixer" brought in to contain the damage caused when his law firm's top litigator suffers a breakdown while defending a major corporate client in a $3 billion class-action suit. Clayton soon finds himself at the center of a deadly plot unleashed to protect the client's interests. The Best Picture nominee scored six other Oscar nominations, including a nod for lead actor Clooney, and a win for Tilda Swinton for her memorable performance as a chillingly ruthless corporate lawyer.
Up in the Air (2009): Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate down-sizing expert who has perfected the art of delivering bad news: he spends his life flying cross-country to personally inform employees they are being fired, at the behest of corporate bosses who don't have the guts to do the dirty deed themselves. The film scored six Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture, lead actor Clooney, and supporting actresses Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.