GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
I just returned from seeing Good Night, and Good Luck. This is George Clooney’s second stint in the director’s chair, and I am beginning to appreciate him more behind the scenes than in front of the camera. Though the subject matter differs from the first movie he directed, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, I enjoyed it just as much. Clooney’s unflinching close-ups of David Straithairn as Edward R. Murrow and accurate use of historical footage make for a compelling and educational film. Primarily a recognizable character actor, memorable as Tom Cruise’s brother in The Firm and Kathy Bates’ husband in Dolores Claiborne, Straithairn gives a powerful yet understated performance in Good Night, and Good Luck. The strong supporting cast includes a refreshingly adult Robert Downey Jr. and the consistently terrific Patricia Clarkson, as well as Jeff Daniels and Frank Langella. I applaud Clooney’s visual eye, and his passion for exploring the truth in television history. As the son of a news reporter, Clooney has an eye and a keen interest in the small screen; both of his movies are exposés of sorts. His decision to only play small roles in the films he directs is also commendable; a star of his clout serves as a distraction from content and message.