George of the Gridiron

George Clooney's third directorial effort, Leatherheads, opens today to mostly lukewarm reviews.

The Populist does not care.

On the subject of Clooney, she is not objective. She remains so despite Oceans 12 and Oceans 13, examples of why some works are done best the first time around and don't improve with subsequent renovations.

Clooney is said to do a fair amount of mugging for the camera in Leatherheads. He did so in the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? and that was swell. Renee Zellweger also remains a favorite. It's grand they've finally paired up. And John Krasinski, who is so fetching in NBC's The Office, is supposed to emerge as a true movie star, a variation on the young Jimmy Stewart. 

The movies of Preston Sturges and Frank Capra are said to be Clooney's inspiration. If you've never seen Sturges' work, you're in for a treat.  He's one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.  Years ago, Temple's downtown location had a film festival (RIP, sob) that ran first-rate prints of Sturges movies every Friday. I never missed a screening. 

Consider renting The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story or The Great McGinty. You can thank me later.