Crap. I was planning to properly review Leatherheads and post an essay last Friday, but life gets in the way. What I would've said, if I was disciplined enough to produce the review on time: George Clooney has been working his way to Leatherheads his whole career. We know he's a matinee idol, we know he's a talented producer and fine director and a great actor, and we know he's got great comic talent. But never has one movie shown us all these things at once. With Leatherheads, Clooney cements his status as the new (old) Warren Beatty: handsome, talented, keen on choosing and making great projects. Suave looks, suave industry acumen. Charisma of Cary Grant with the eye and ambition of Orson Welles. As I said, we've known this, but Leatherheads is visual proof.
It's a great movie: funny, charming, intelligent, sharp, easy-breezy, chugging along on nostalgia and classicism and star wattage. All the characters are named Dodge and Suds and C.C. and Curly, Clooney employs the old Universal logo at the beginning, Randy Newman's score is a fresh ragtime throwback, Zellweger recaptures a tangy '20s dameness (despite her weirdly morphed countenance). Leatherheads has every trait of a quality crowd-pleaser despite its periodness, yet it has performed poorly at the box office. Why? Go see it, dammit.