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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Good Night and Good Luck  

Review: written 2006

Educational sophisticated drama

This is George Clooney’s masterpiece - and it’s easy to see why he made it now, as the issues brought out in the movie are so easily transposed to current day. The movie faithfully depicts, through faithful reproduction of his monologues as well as actual footage, the sequence of programmes Ed Murrow made exposing McCarthy and ultimately playing a part in bringing about his downfall. This is mixed with the drama of what was going on behind the scenes and the real cost of telling it like it was at a time when fear was king, and telling the truth had real consequences.

This is a talking heads movie - there is no flash bang effects, or tense scenes. It's all about what was being said, and why it was being said. Even then, you have to listen pretty hard because Clooney has used a verite style of people talking as they do in real life, overlapping and not always talking in neat sentences.. except for those masterful monologues. The movie is in black and white, which does not detract but rather accentuates the drama both by making it feel authentically of its time, and bringing out rich detail of the characters expressions and nuances.. and as a side-note, cigarette smoke has never looked more beautiful, almost a character in itself at times - how jarring it is to see one of the most respected newscasters, with cigarette in hand while addressing the nation!

The acting is simply perfect - Strathairn is knockout as Murrow, and must have spent ages poring over his newscast to so faithfully recreate him, and do so with so much heart.

For me the movie had two messages - one, the obvious political one, and the other - the state of television today. There is nothing on TV now that comes close to the intelligence and impact of Murrow's pieces. Watch this if you want something to spark debate and conversation - don't watch this for a popcorn movie or if you want something exciting or tense. As entertainment, this scores low - as thought provoking cinema, this is first class.





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