Damn, I’d like a cigarette
November 24, 2005
Last night we went to see George Clooney’s Good Night, And Good Luck. I liked the movie, but this won’t be one of those well-crafted movie reviews with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Instead, here’s a bunch of unrelated bullet points:
- David Strathairn did an incredible job channeling E.R. Murrow. I have heard Murrow tapes before and he was spot-on.
- Yes, the movie was something of a political sermon, but it was pretty good in spite of that. Outstanding acting, great story, etc.
- They didn’t use an actor for McCarthy, just file footage. That was a good move, but some test screeners apparently said “the actor playing McCarthy was over-acting.”
- Ann Coulter has been on a rampage to reconstruct McCarthy’s legacy; he was a hero was going after real Commie spies, and was destroyed by… (wait for it…) Liberals!.
- The screenplay used Murrow’s actual words. This was a good move. I cannot imagine George Clooney or Grant Heslov having anything more eloquent to say than Murrow.
- Ray Wise’s performance as Don Hollenbeck was just amazing. His portrayal of a man smiling through pain was so good I’m worried about him now.
- The film did a reasonable job of noting that McCarthy was already in trouble when Murrow went after him. At the end where Murrow’s show was cut way back, that part was not accurate.
- Yes, everyone smoked back then. If you have never smoked, you should know why people do it: nicotine is one of the very best neurostimulants (in the sense of improving function without side effects), it had all the support of any socially-approved drug-use, and in moments of quiet reflection, rising smoke is fascinating and beautiful. And if done with style, it looks cool.
- Dianne Reeves provided a jazz background for the movie that often charmingly moved into the foreground. She has a new album out which MrsDoF intends to purchase.
- I sure wish we had an Edward R. Murrow in television now. Unfortunately the medium has pretty much become what he said it would; just entertainment, not living up to its potential.
- Note to Hollywood producers in the 21st century: if you make a Black and White movie that is supposed to take place in the 1940’s or ‘50’s, watch some old B&W movies first. Their focus wasn’t just sharp; typically it was exact. The camera men and lighting directors didn’t go for fuzzy. (I know it wasn’t the theater projector because there were a couple random moments of accidental sharp focus on a subject)