Good Night, And Good Luck. (2005)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

USA/United Kingdom/France/Japan2005.  , , , , , , .  Screenplay by George Clooney, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Grant Heslov.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

The now-forgotten, televised showdown between reporter Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and radically conservative senator Joseph McCarthy, who was making headlines for his Communist witch hunt in the early 1950s, makes up the story of this excellent docudrama. Murrow and his producer Fred Friendly (George Clooney, who also co-wrote and directed) were two of the very few who decided not to give into the fear that was taking over the entire news and entertainment industry, attacking McCarthy head-on and exposing the rhetoric that covered much of his flimsy argumentation. Clooney captures it all beautifully in this precise, slow-moving but deeply fascinating film that benefits from all the clinical detail it possesses. Also featuring performances by Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson and , the film’s most controversial performance comes from the stock footage of McCarthy himself, whom test audiences felt was “overacting”. This one won’t be for everyone’s taste, but given the political climate in which it was released it is definitely a moral tale that needs to be told, and Strathairn is astoundingly good in the lead.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actor (David Strathairn); Best Director (George Clooney); Best Original Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction

European Film Award:  Screen International Award

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (David Strathairn); Best Director (George Clooney); Best Screenplay

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination:  Outstanding Motion Picture Cast; Best Actor (David Strathairn)

Venice Film Festival Awards:  Best Actor (David Strathairn); Best Screenplay

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