3/02/2006

Good Night, and Good Luck.

If you have not yet seen the film, there may be some spoilers in here for you!

Aptly named by myself as a film I would like to see this year, there was no way about my watching it at the cinema... though I myself am a little unsure what led me to the decision of wanting to watch it.

Not really a surprise, –considering the subject matter of the film- but I could not help but notice, how alongside myself and my sister, the cinema had about 3 couples in their 40s-60s…

Directed by George Clooney –how you know the director- Starring David Straithairn (Edward R. Murrow), Robert Downey Jr. (Joe Wershba), Patricia Clarkson (Shirley Wershba), Ray Wise (Don Hollenbeck), Frank Langella (William ‘Bill’ Paley), Jeff Daniels (Sig Mickelson), and George Clooney (Fred Friendly)

The film takes place in the 1950s; the era of McCarthyism and paranoia, with the main focus of the story occurring in the CBS broadcasting building. The film is really about Edward Murrow, star of CBSSee it Now, seemingly famous for his closing words good night and good luck. Although never stating him as a communist sympathiser throughout the film (without prior knowledge) it is clear that his intentions against senator McCarthy are obvious, simply put the film follows Murrow’s pursuit in letting television viewers know the McCarthy that the public had not seen, though as we can tell from the beginning of the film, his pursuit of justice leads to his dismissal.

The film, almost to the point of a documentary or biopic would not suit everyone; with its political tones and serious manner the film will only really appeal to those with a decent attention span, it has its points occasionally a laugh can be had, but not often. But if you’re looking for a good film among the Date Movie’s and Big Momma’s Houses out there, then this is the film for you.

I believe that it could be easily said that every actor that contributed to the film was excellent, Straithairn’s portray of Murrow was excellent, bringing a certain air of power to the screen. But I felt that the subplot of Don Hollenback (Wise) was by far the best supporting performance in the film, similar to Twin Peaks I feel that Ray Wise can make a character easily terrorised and sympathetic, this was the same in his sad portrayal of Hollenbeck.

The screenplay was awesome, not scared to perhaps confuse those that are not paying attention the film spoke its truth, nothing had seemed to be dummed down, so I was pleasantly happy.

The soundtrack was awesome, being set in the fifties the singing of Dianne Reeves helped to add a great level of realism, making the intervals in-between the ‘action’ every now and again all the more enjoyable.

Good Night, and Good Luck has got to be one of THE most beautiful films that I have seen in a while, and it is for sure that if it were not in black and white, such stunning lighting and cinematography would not be possible. It were as though each individual shot were meticulously planned (Robert Elswit also worked on all of PT Anderson’s films). Alongside the great visuals the film put forth a great message, said by Murrow; that television is not only for entertainment, but for education and the better for people.
It gave a feel to what the broadcasting business was like in the fifties, something that before now I would have surmised to be similar to today’s standards.

For a film based on the controversial deeds of television news broadcasters the film seemed to lack any ‘real’ drama, and I suppose that this was the only real downfall to the whole film.

Overall it was a good film, and didn’t take me too long to get involved, the use of actual footage of McCarthy and the film in black and white seamlessly brought the film together tightly. If anything I would highly recommend the film, though I felt for an hour and a half it was a tad short, perhaps a film for a more understanding audience, that seek to know how McCarthy’s ‘reign’ fell.

Cptalbertwesker Rating – 8/10
A thoroughly interesting film that definitely does not insult your intelligence, full of absolutely wonderful cinematography and a superb cast of actors.

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