February 7, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck.

Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005, dir. Clooney)

I just love it when films fascinate me. Where I become to engrossed in the world they enhabit that I could watch them continue doing their thing for hours more. It happened to me with Mysterious Skin last year and now George Clooney's Good Night & Good Luck has had the same effect on me (don't get me wrong, i absolutely love many other movies more than these two, but these two are the most recent examples of what I was saying. For example, I think Brokeback Mountain was perfectly made and wouldn't want it to go on longer because it reached it's natural end).

I got sucked into the world - I absolutely adore the 50s - through the excellent technical work such as production design, costume design, music (loved the Dianne Reeves musical work) and, best of all, cinematography. What a marvellous looking film. The black and white work is phenomenal, it really did look like a movie from the 1950s. Even the way characters acted felt authentic.

Then there's the acting. David Strathairn (who I've never really come across in any major capacity, i don't think) gives a pitch-perfect performance, which unlike some recent biopic performances (HI JAMIE FOXX!) does actually feel like I reaches more than mimicry. Notice the slight movements on his face during a particularly embarassing interview. Then there are the supporting performances: Frank Langella comes out best as equally authorative and helpful. George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr and Ray Wise also give great little turns. Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Matt Ross, Tate Donovan, Grant Heslov and (omg!) Alex Borstein give great smaller performances that lack showboating moments but feel suited to the piece. The previously mentioned Dianne Reeves song work.

Then there is just the the film. The messages it portrays, and wants us to listen to. How can we not sit up and pay attention? The injustices that are the focus of Clooney's canon are worthy of being told and should be continued to be discussed today. I'm not going to get into a discussion about current world political policies, but it seems pretty important that a film such as this that talks about punishing people with no proof, should come out at a time when so many men and women are under the exact same threat, non?

Good Night, and Good Luck is one of the year's best films and great piece of filmmaking. And it comes it at 90 minutes! Excellent. Short and sweet, baby. A-

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