Review: Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow

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.

The Weekend Box Office

This weekend’s box office was essentially blah. Sure, Wallace and Gromit (grossing a whopping $16 million) bumped Flightplan off its two-week throne and that Cameron Diaz movie (In Her Shoes) came in third (with $10 million) but this weekend’s box office belonged to only one film. George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck.

In limited release, the top per-screen average belonged to the critically praised Good Night, and Good Luck, George Clooney‘s movie about CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow battles with Communist-baiting Senator Joe McCarthy. The PG black-and-white Warner Independent release, which stars David Strathairn in the title role with support from Clooney, Robert Downey, Jr,, Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels, racked up $421,446 at just 11 sites to average a headline-making $38,313.

In otherwords, this little independent movie made quite a lot of money meaning that everyone should see it. (Personally, I’d rather see George Clooney in this movie than see him fat and un-George Clooney-esque as he will be in Syriana)

I’m going this weekend, I think. I have a very busy movie theater schedule to tackle… so many movies to see and so little time to do so. Three days is not enough time to go to three different movies, at three different theaters in three different towns.