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Good Night, And Good Luck

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Kain_C, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. Kain_C

    Kain_C Well-Known Member

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    New trailer for the next film directed by George Clooney is out. It deals with the 'red scare' (and subsequent Communist 'witchhunts') during the 50's and the famous battle between Senator Joesph McCarthy and distinguished journalist Edward R. Murrow that resulted.

    I loved 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind', and this film looks like the next evolutionary step in Clooney's directorial career. Very interesting subject matter and a nice tense look to the whole thing makes this one one to watch for, maybe even for Oscar time. Nice cast too. David Strathairn looks to fit the shoes of Murrow nicely, especially the voice.

    Here it is:

    http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/good...dgoodluck.html
     
  2. Kain_C

    Kain_C Well-Known Member

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    Got to see this tonight. Excellent film. Clooney does a magnificent job of taking us to the time period and it really feels like you're peeking into an actual event instead of watching a movie about it. The black and white, mixed with the constant swirling of cigarette smoke that seems to permeate most of the film, gives it a gritty yet realistic feel. The script and dialogue are all top notch and very naturalistic, adding to the documentary-esque feel to the minimalist presentation.

    The cast is also outstanding. George Clooney actually turns in a -- dare I say -- understated performance and is quite comfortable not being the center of the story. Everyone else from Jeff Daniels to Frank Langella is equally fitting to their roles. The real star, of course, is David Strathairn. I haven't seen much footage of the real Edward R. Murrow, but it is apparent that Strathairn put alot of effort into capturing his charisma, professionalism, and plain larger than life presence. He completely vanishes within the role. It would be a great disservice if Strathairn didn't pick up at least a nod come this February for his performance.

    If I had any complaints, it was that the film was too short. At 93 minutes, it just rockets by. The fact that the story is so strong and the performances so incredible doesn't help either, as you become so pulled in you won't even think once of the time. It's a good thing though, as the filmmakers chose to simply tell the story with as little exposition as possible, so that you are focused on the event itself as if you were watching it unfold in real time on the television. Some old vintage commercials strewn about help convey this as well.

    Hopefully, we'll get alot of actual footage of the real life Murrow as well as factual background on the events and people when this comes out on DVD.
     
  3. Haggai

    Haggai Well-Known Member

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    I liked it a lot as well. The decision to go with the actual footage of McCarthy is really effective, definitely more so than casting someone to play him would have been. It corresponds to what Murrow says in the script about how they're just going to stick to McCarthy's own words, in order to let him tie his own noose.

    The one thing that didn't quite work for me was how the subplot involving Downey and Clarkson was integrated into the story. I like both of those actors, so it works fine in that you have two compelling performers getting to do some scenes together, but I didn't really see what it had to do with what the rest of the movie was about.
     
  4. Kain_C

    Kain_C Well-Known Member

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    I see what you mean, but I think it was to show the effects of their (as in CBS, Murrow, etc.) 'crusade' against McCarthy, and not just the professional fallout, but personal. It's hard to discuss without going into minor spoiler territory though.

    I read that test audiences felt the actor playing McCarthy was overacting when in fact, there was no actor portraying him. [​IMG]
     
  5. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Well-Known Member

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    A double feature for me today, Capote and GNAGL.
    I'm old enough that I remember both events, I'm a little hazy on the McCarthy era because I was not even 10. I'm a little less hazy on the hanging of Perry & Hickock
    in Kansas...but I was heading into Chu Lai that month and the "conflict" had most of my attention.
    One common thing I can mention about both of these great films....they got the look right. The 1950's were the absolute bottom of the barrel for hairstyles and fashion. Men & women looked equally bad.
    Well, Truman looked pretty damn suave, but then, he had a real fashion advantage. [​IMG]
     
  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

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    It felt to me, like a very historically-accurate film with something important and relevant to say, but never-the-less rather dry.
     
  7. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    I saw the film about 1-1/2 weeks ago, and enjoyed it tremendously. There was an older gentleman next to me that was clapping spontaneously throughout the film, and for some reason it didn't bother me at all.[​IMG]

    My only complaint is the rather short runtime, and abrupt ending.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I saw this film, two weeks ago and thought it was great. I'm really glad that Clooney filmed this movie in black and white for the reasons previously given beforehand in this thread.




    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Nathan V

    Nathan V Well-Known Member

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    For those not reading the oscar thread, here's what I said over there-

    Saw GNGL. It took a while for me to get into this picture. It wasn't until about 2 days later that I realized how good it really is. It is so spare, so lacking in traditional bio/based on a true story elements, like episodic structure and set design fetishizing, and lacking even in traditional movie elements, like character development or a final set piece, that it's such a completely different movie-going experience that it's difficult to digest at first. The thread connecting the scenes is the ongoing event, or, as the characters see it, their work. This really is a film about people at work, and not much else (i.e. no personal lives, private struggles, etc etc). Sort of like Michael Mann's films (which almost always concern people and their jobs), except with all the character development taken out. Obviously,Striatharn's perf and Clooney's direction and choice of B&W are all pure brilliance. Great work by Stephen "Traffic" Mirrione and Robert "Magnolia" Elswit. Also, the characters actually talk like people in the 1950s! It's great. Really transports the viewer. I love how literate Murrow's dialogue is. A terrific departure from mainstream fare, with very important relevance today...despite all this, I'm still flummoxed over what the academy's going to think. Is Gwyneth Paltrow going to like this movie? I don't know. I can't see it. Then again, people like Clooney. And academy oldsters will remember the real Murrow, etc. In any case, it owns the cinematography category, and should own the editing and directing and acting (straitharn, lead) categories.


    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  10. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Well-Known Member

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    Last week, I saw a double feature of "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" and "Good Night, and Good Luck." Although I think both film rank among the best of the year, I thought that this one was not only better, but I think it is hands down the best film of the year.

    This film is so wonderfully told and told with such realism that it seems like we're actually there with Murrow and the CBS executives. I also felt that using the McCarthy footage was also interesting as well, since I have actually never seen it myself.

    I think what sets this film apart from other films of this nature is the fact that it tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Nothing in this film seems Hollywodized or fake. It all seems so real. In fact, at times, I was reminded of the TV movie remake of "Fail Safe", which was all in balck & white and had a feeling of being like a documentary. Sure, GN&GL doesn't exactly have the feel of a true documentary, but with it entirely in black & white, it really does seem like it.

    I also think that the film has Oscar written all over it. In a year where it seems like every studio film looks like an Oscar film, this one actually feels like one, since it is not a wannabe. I think David Stratharan's performance of Murrow is highly Oscar worthy, as is I think Robert Elswit's cinematography, which I think will be nominated and win. It's a long overdue moment for Elswit, who has been passed over far too much.

    Still, the focus is on the movie, and everyone is absolutely and uniformally excellent. Even Robert Downey Jr. and Patricia Clarkson are excellent as well in a subplot that only added to the chaos and confusion that the network was going into at the time. Even Alex Borstein, who is the voice of Lois on the animated TV show "Family Guy" gets small moments to shine on the screen as one of the secretaries.

    It's Clooney's direction though that propels the film into greatness. He knows the subject matter well and handles it in a mannar that is perect and bittersweet at the same time. Sure, the movie has a couple of flaws, and one of them is that at times, the film does threaten to be boring, but there is always some kind of action happening that redeems it.

    If you can't at least like this film, then you should at least appreciate the time period that it is set in. This story is true, and by watching the film, it does feel like we are back in the 1950s, when it was more innocent and more restricted. It's a film that I think everyone should be required to see this film at least once in their lives so that way they can learn something about history that is not embellished into lies or things that never actually happened.

    It simply put the best film of the year, and if you haven't seen it yet, then I quote the New York Times, "See it now!"

    My rating: **** out ****
     
  11. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    This is a very good film about an important time in broadcasting and US history. We were in Austin a couple of weeks ago for a broadcasting convention and we took some of our students to see. No one thought it was dull. I agree that it does fly by, but I would rather that than it overstaying its welcome. I also thought the husband/wife subplot seemed extraneous.
     
  12. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    I finally saw GN&GL this past weekend. It's a great film, surely one of the year's best. But, sad to say, I don't think it's going to be major Oscar bait (ie., Best Picture & Director). It lacks the emotional punch that usually accompanies most BP winners. That's not a criticism of the film; but simply an observation of how the Academy chooses it's big winners.

    I do think Cinematography and Screenplay noms are near certain. Hopefully Strathairn will also get the Best Actor nod he so richly deserves.

    I can't let this go without comment - Are you kidding? Were you asleep during the 70s & 80s??? [​IMG]
     
  13. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Well-Known Member

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    Craig, I agree completely. Still, it's so well done I can't help but hope it gets the recognition it deserves.
     
  14. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Well-Known Member

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    Not asleep, but I had lost interest by then. You are correct that some bizarre things were done with hair & clothes in the 70s. But...they were not done by everyone. The idea of one style vanished during the 60s.
    In the 50s everyone was in lockstep.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Finally saw this film today (just trying to mark through most of the Oscar contenders, and this one just kept getting pushed back for one reason or another).

    Perhaps in keeping with the times, I found it a little staid, a little brisk, I found myself wanting more. Maybe Clooney didn't want to get bogged down in minutia of the research put forth by Murrow's team, but it played lighter than I would have expected given the subject matter. The only excess being the subplot with married characters played by Patricia Clarkson and Robert Downney Jr, which got built up with little in terms of payoff.

    Straithairn's performance anchors the film in conviction and character, the rest of the cast provide a good framework of the CBS production of Murrow's show, but it's very plot-driven, and focused on the task at hand (how Murrow exposes Sen. McCarthy's tactics and standing up to the bullying under the auspices of rooting out communists in the government, while also dealing with the fall-out of such an endeavor).

    I give it 3 stars or a grade of B.
     
  17. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Well-Known Member

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    Surprisingly fair and balanced look at the McCarthy episode of the early 1950s. Some great performances and wonderful cinematography.

    I think it could have used another 15-20 minutes to add some more emotional punch, which in my mind is what keeps this from being a truly great film. But it's another good film in one of the greatest movie years in recent history.

    9/10
     

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