George Clooney’s second directorial attempt is a must see. Eloqeuntly filmed in black and white, Good Night, and Good Luck is the story of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and his historical fight with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950’s Red Scare.
David Strathairn stars as the legendary Murrow in a performance that is sure to win him an Academy Award nomination. He makes the chain-smoking Murrow seem fallible, noble, funny, and huiman, while making you forget that Murrow is a legend.
The film also stars Clooney as Fred Friendly, producer and Murrow’s main confidant. Robert Downey Jr. plays Joe Wershba, a reporter who must hide his marriage to a fellow staffer (played by Patrica Clarkson), and Frank Langella (as Bill Paley, CBS network boss).
Good Night, and Good Luck opens at a 1958 banquet, honoring Murrow for his landmark broadcasting career. Murrow’s acceptance speech frames Clooney’s masterpiece.
Then came Edward R. Murrow, who believed that if television must be used for anything, it must be used to educate people and benefit society. Along with Friendly, he decides to use his CBS news show See it Now to challenge McCarthy. In the process, he loses his sponsers and almost his job. But the risk, pays off as the collapse of McCarthy’s power soon follows.
Clooney’s film is indeed a work of art, that excites, intrigues, and terrifies you all at once. Most of all, Good Night, and Good Luck makes journalistic integrity look appealing and frankly, sexy. Overall, the movie is funny, inspiring, and well worth theater ticket prices.
As Murrow once said, “We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason.” With that, good night and good luck.