Sunday, December 18, 2005

"Good Night and Good Luck"

I didn't think much of George Clooney director after "The Confessions of a Dangerous Minds" this biography of veteran TV newsman Edward R. Murrow though, changed my mind.
Avoided is the first mistake of film biography, doing the whole life with relentless speed a'la "Ali".
No instead, we follow Murrow in the lead up and aftermath of a couple of 1953 television broadcasts criticizing Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Staying on focus with respect to a few key incidents in a man's life is often good film-making IMHO.
David Strahairn impersonates Murrow to perfection, quizzical, ironic a little fatalistic...he knows one way or another the good times of "quality" TV journalism must end sooner or later.
No my only objection to the film is that it assigns a grandiose part to Murrow in McCarthy's fall. True the broadcasts did their part, but Joe was already deep into a suicidal attack on Dwight Eisenhower's Presidency when Murrow jumped ugly on him.
no Mccarthy did himself in, of course his response to Murrow's broadcasts in which he incoherently accuses the newsman of being a Wobbly stands as a sort of sad anti-classic teevee moment.
"Good night and Good Luck" is still lingering at the Lexington Cinema if'n anyone is interested.

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