What a great time to be George Clooney. Well, there's no bad time to be George Clooney, really, but this is an especially good period for the actor and director. Not only is he a newlywed, he's pretty much the only person who's guaranteed to walk away from the Golden Globes with a statue — no worrying about speeches or practicing the "appreciative loss" face. The actor is a lock for a Golden Globe because Clooney is the Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient for 2015 (an award the Globes say honors "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment"). We know the actor's contributions in front of the camera, but what about behind it? How many movies has George Clooney directed?
The answer is five — so far — plus a handful of episodes of the TV show Unscripted. Unfortunately, none of these films have earned Clooney a Golden Globe for directing, though a couple of them scored him a nomination. Instead, his only Globes so far have been for acting: he received the award for O Brother, Where Art Thou ("We're in a tight spot!"), Syriana, and The Descendants.
Those are three wildly different movies. His own directorial work has been equally varied. Here, a look at the movies Clooney has directed.
The Good: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Good Night, and Good Luck
Biopics are trick and really easy to make boring, but the genre somehow brings out the best in Clooney. Maybe it's because he chooses the right people to make movies about. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind tells the super-crazy life story of Chuck Barris, a TV game-show host who claims to have moonlighted as a killer for the CIA. (I don't know if it's true or not, but the movie features plenty of Sam Rockwell dancing, and I could watch that all day.) Edward R. Murrow, the subject of Good Night, and Good Luck, doesn't have as strange of a backstory, but Clooney makes it feel important, shooting the movie in a lush black and white. Good Night and Good Luck earned Clooney his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Director.
The Bad: Leatherheads and The Monuments Men
It's a shame that this is the year Clooney is getting his DeMille award; he's coming off of one of the most shaky movies of his career. The Monuments Men, like his best movies, is based on a true story. It's about a group of soldiers in World War II who are tasked with saving important artworks and cultural artifacts. That sounds like a fascinating story, but the movie is oddly slack and sorta boring for such an interesting premise. (Extra points off for squandering the charms of Matt Damon.) Leatherheads, his attempt at old-timey screwball comedy, isn't as dry as Monuments Men, but its slightness means it's just as forgettable.
The Gosling: The Ides of March
Mmmm, yes. Remember when Ryan Gosling was in movies? It's been a while, hasn't it? This one — based on House of Cards creator Beau Willimon's play about the inner workings of a political campaign — earned Clooney his second Globe nomination for directing. But it's hard to focus on the directing when you're staring at Ryan Gosling.