Good Night, and Good Luck

Dan Movie Reviews

My first Award Screener DVD – yay! So I watched it on Monday night with my grandma, and we both agree: Good Night, and Good Luck is a boring movie. Running a blessedly short 93-minutes, this black-and-white George Clooney-directed film is about the goings-on at CBS when Edward R. Murrow took on Senator Joe McCarthy during his infamous senate hearings.

The problem with the film is that it shows us what happened from a very one-sided point of view – that of the CBS folks – and never actually tells the audience (who had probably forgotten by now) that there really was a threat of Communism against this country. Instead, McCarthy is shown selectively going off on people that he clearly didn’t need to be so harsh on – and it’s all with archival footage – with scene showing the CBS folks patting themselves on their back for going up against someone like McCarthy.

The one-sided approach is tiring after a while, and you almost feel sorry for McCarthy – certainly not the intended effect, I’m sure. What is neat though is the way music is used. There is no score to the film. Rather, Dianne Reeves is singing on-screen in a neighboring studio, and her smooth voice transitions us to different scenes. It’s a neat use of music, but that’s the only thing that really stands out about this film.

I guess the other thing that stands out is David Strathairn as Murrow. I am not really familiar with Murrow’s real-life persona, but my grandma said that Strathairn did a very good job with his rendition. But a good bit of acting and some smooth music is not worth the 93-minutes spent watching a one-sided historical recreation.