Monday, October 31, 2005

Good Night and Good Luck

Make no mistake about it; Good Night and Good Luck is a film about 2005. After all, George Clooney IS part of and he isn’t shy about letting his views be known. It is thus extremely difficult to separate Good Night and Good Luck from its context as not a single viewer will fail to make parallels between the 1950’s on screen and the current reality waiting outside of the movie theater. That said, the film is a success in all facets: as a red flag for today, as a period piece about a great conflict and as a portrait of Edward Murrow.

George Clooney already proved that he had a knack for directing on Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, but this go around truly breaks out, making a quality back-to-the basics film without too much gimmick or flash. True the musical interludes between the film’s chapters help with the pacing and B&W photography has now become so surprising that it’s a distinction in itself but such devices ground the film rather than distract the audience giving it the proper context and seriousness. The photography and set design in particular truly drive home the era as one can not only see the pressure-cooker atmosphere in a 50’s TV newsroom but the entire lifestyle surrounding it without glamorizing it. Thus the film marks Clooney’s second triumph, second film about television personalities, second biopic and second story set in the time he grew up. Not an auteur yet but I wouldn’t be mad at seeing him do more work in that direction.


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