Good Night, And Good Luck.
It was with a degree of trepidation that I approached the George Clooney-helmed Good Night, And Good Luck., so bitterly disappointed had I been with his directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. And on the surface of it, a parallel could easily be drawn between the two films.
Both movies deal with that classic perceived Cold War threat to America, Communism; and both deal with behind-the-scenes life in the world of television -- a world, of course, that Clooney knows only too well, albeit in another era.
That, I am delighted to say, is where the similarities end. Good Night, And Good Luck. is almost flawless if not always thrilling, telling a small story of CBS TV anchorman Ed Murrow taking on Senator Joe McCarthy at the time of his "witch hunts", seeking out supposed communists across the USA.
The film is beautifully shot; it has a message that is probably more relevant today than it was in the 1950s, when this true story is set; and the acting is perfectly understated by the strong ensemble cast, which includes Patricia Clarkson, Robert Downey Jr, Frank Langella, and Clooney himself, and is headed up by the wonderful David Strathairn, who surely would have picked up the Oscar had it not been for Philip Seymour Hoffman's knockout performance in Capote.
And this film also knows how not to overstay its welcome, clocking in at less than an hour and a half once you take out the end credits. Perfect!