Sunday, January 08, 2006

GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK

Good Night And Good Luck MovieDavid Strathairn Directed by George Clooney
Reviewed by Byron Merritt

BIG THUMBS UP!

BIG THUMBS UP FILM REVIEW RATING!

It was with great joy that I finally got to see GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK today. This is film-making and tension at its best. Although there’s no bloodshed or external battles, the strain of what was going on during the McCarthy hearings in the 50's is palpable in George Clooney’s excellent script.

Not having been born until years later, I only remember my parents commenting on how disgraceful the nation felt for letting a bully push around individuals and companies without due process here in the U.S. (where we pride ourselves on a system of justice!)

The film is taut with dangerous choices that could have very well ended the careers of thousands of people at
CBS. Edward R. Murrow (played beautifully by David Strathairn) pulls off the performance of a lifetime by using every mannerism ever noted in Murrow’s early television career. The close-up facial shots were excellent and added tension to the film without any musical score (music is only used as a kind of introduction to different segments of the story but sung in low jazz tones by legendary singer Dianne Reeves). The use of black and white film adds an extra sense of the time period and allowed George Clooney and company to meld together stock footage of McCarthy and other Senators in a very seamless fashion.

It is noteworthy to point out that fear was the prime method that allowed McCarthy to continue his ridiculous claims of communist infiltration into the United States (people feared the communists because of the nuclear threat and because they felt that the communists would overrun our beloved country ....boy, does this sound familiar. Are we still in the 1950s? Hmm. Is George Bush and company allowed to get away with lots of things because of the fear of bombings, religious fundamentalists, and those who disagree with America?)

The "you’re either with us or against us" mentality is easily focused on in the film by allowing Senator McCarthy to play and hang himself. If you were against McCarthy, you were a communist or, at the very least, a communist sympathizer (watching him attack Murrow as a communist was ridiculous).

It’s funny to read the mind-numbing reviews of individuals at Amazon.com and other places who think that there WERE communists in high places within our government. And they still believe it! Even after the fall of communism in the USSR. Grow up gang. It’s the 21st century. The only thing we need fear is not questioning our leaders, and this movie is a nice reawakening to that thought.

Click here for the Good Night & Good Luck movie trailer!

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