George Clooney has had yet another busy year. His circuit kicked off back in August at the Venice Film Festival where his fourth directorial effort, “The Ides of March,” saw its world premiere on opening night. Then it was off to the Telluride Film Festival later that week for a tribute and another world premiere, this time of Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” which features Clooney in a leading role that many think will bring him an Oscar for Best Actor.
It’s not unlike the path he carved in 2005, which saw his critically acclaimed “Good Night, and Good Luck.” and Stephen Gaghan’s “Syriana” find room in the awards conversation (the latter ultimately bringing him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor).
But while Clooney’s million-dollar smile splashes across magazine covers in moments like these and his magnetic charm wins over whatever group of people the studio might put in front of him, it’s worth taking note of the considerable talent that has brought him to a place where this kind of ubiquity is more refreshing than annoying.
Clooney has been a mainstay of feature filmmaking since, oh, call it the mid-1990s. Sure, there was stuff like “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and “Red Surf” before that, but he was mainly a TV personality on NBC’s “ER” before finally making a significant movie splash in 1996’s “From Dusk Till Dawn.” And since that time, he’s given a wide array of portrayals and cranked out a decent enough portfolio that — with “The Ides of March” in theaters and the release of “The Descendants” imminent — affords reason enough to dedicate an installment of The Lists to his work.
Most lists would probably be somewhat similar. There isn’t a decades-long career to pull from here and most of the cream of the crop perfs are generally agreeable. Though maybe the ranking would differ significantly from person to person. But that’s the point. Again — subjectivity is key with any personal assemblage.
So have a look at my favorites in our new gallery, and feel free to offer up your own picks in the comments section below.
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