February 06, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck

I knew nothing about this movie going in. This movie was nominated for the following categories:
  • Best Motion Picture of the Year
  • Best Achievement in Directing
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Achievement in Art Direction
  • Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

  • This was a really short movie. Just 1.5 hours. And thank goodness for that because it was in black & white and they didn't really have much story to tell anyway. If it dragged on I probably would have hated it.

    The story is about a CBS news team that sets out to expose the madness of Senator James McCarthy and his hell-bent scheme to erradicate all communists from the US, including any who were related to an communist. Mainly, it surrounds the story of a man serving in the US Marines who's father was a communist, and how he was released by the army without any cause. He wasn't personally affiliated with Commies. The CBS lead guy is Edward R. Murrow, played by David Strathairn. He is a relative newcomer (despite being 57 years old).

    The acting in this movie was excellent. Strathairn was very good. He was extremely believable as a news guy, he was very hard-nosed, a stern man set out to do what was right, even if it would destroy his career. He was well respected and you could sense that without anyone being particularly respectful to him. His newsboys were good too, they that sense of determination of getting the truth out.

    I honestly don't know too much about the background of this story. What I did get though, was a sense that back in those days, TV wasn't there for pure entertainment as it is today. The CBS people worked hard to get the news out, to inform the people and help the public understand what was happening around the world. Television was taken very seriously. Newscasters were reviewed, and they cared what other people thought of them. And most of all, they were trying to make a difference in the world. They weren't just reading a teleprompter but actually telling people what was really happening. The real, gist of the stories going on. And they were proud of their work and their achievements.

    For me the most curious part of the movie was the point of the characters played Robert Downey (Gothika, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Wonderboys) and Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile). I saw no purpose of these two characters. They were pretending to be friends while really being married, and eventually got fire from CBS.

    The directing I thought was also good aside from that useless couple. It was very well done, as if it were a movie made back in those days. The thing for me is that it was believable. And the truth is it had to be because Strathairn used the exact words and phrases that Murrow used in real life. The movie appeared to be very authentic.

    Personally, I've found most of these political movies to be very boring. I'm not going to rate movies by how often I've fallen asleep though because I'm not into politics and world issues in the first place. It's not my cup of tea, is all.

    Overall rating: 83%

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