Monday, February 27, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck: review

I've been both a bit poorly, and tired, and busy making CDs for people (not mutually exclusive factors): this combined with NTHell's lack of internet yesterday till around 5pm has meant I'm only just now getting around to giving you some feedback on the film we saw on Friday night: Good Night, and Good Luck.

Apart from always feeling a slight grumble at seeing the logo of Warner Independent Pictures (Cloud remarked "independent of what?"), it was a real pleasure to see this thoughtful and beautiful film. Despite viewing it at the local city centre multiscreen cinema - home to copious stinky popcorn and yaddering folk with their mobiles left on - the screening was well populated by an audience that clearly wanted to take in the film. Dialogue could be heard at all times, everyone seemed attentive, and there was a nice sense of collective exhalation of pleasure at the end: satisfaction.

David Strathairn - ah, how we love his name - as pretty much every review has acknowledged, blows the screen away with his subtle inhabitation of the Murrow character. A raised eyebrow, a sigh, a glance of desperation: all are handled with the confidence born of an actor used to conveying three-dimensional characters, led by a director with vision. Strathairn, a long-time collaborator with John Sayles, here suggests that George Clooney has great potential behind the screen, judging by how well Clooney brings this project together (as if his debut didn't already suggest possibility: I was rather fond of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and not just for Sam Rockwell, whom I have mentioned before). Anyway, let's just say that the acting is top-notch.

Yes, you could say that especially at the end, the message was rather troweled on for the audience regarding the media. But I rather like messages being re-affirmed. Perhaps most of the audience enticed to see Good Night and Good Luck already knows the story of the period, but when told as well as this - and with such utterly stunning black and white cinematography - you have to cry out "say it again". Worth seeing: in any other year Strathairn would rightly walk away with gongs galore. Sadly, this year against the competition in his field, he may have to settle for a few more minor awards. He may not be an unknown, but he's surely under-rated. A lovely performance in a very worthwhile film.


JoeinVegas said...

Nice review, have to go see it. We picked Syriana for our Clooney view, guess we can do another.

Reidski said...

NTHell indeed. Best (internet-type) thing I did was return to BT!

And you poorly again - it doesn't feel like any time at all since your last bout of illness. Hope you get better soon!