Ahoy, squirts! Quint here... George Clooney's GOOD LUCK, AND GOOD NIGHT is one of my hands down absolute most anticipated films left in 2005. The black and white photography looks amazing, the cast is great and the story is timed so perfectly that I expect it to hit a lot of chords with today's audiences. I can't wait for this flick! We have a couple reviews from Italy, so enjoy!
American film student. Somehow found my way to Rome to study for a semester. Got a review of the ol' Clooner's second step to the plate, 'Good Night, and Good Luck' if you're interested.
To say that I was surprised with George Clooney and his first sit in the director's chair, 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind', is a touch of an understatement. I just didn't expect a film that seemed as comfortable with itself as 'Confessions' did. Nor coming from any first time director, much less an actor with no real experience behind the camera.
It should have been expected that Clooney would (and did) make an 'actors' movie, however it was his ability to work the camera, to make the images pop and to give such visual life to the film was just a straight shot into the left field that smacked me in th side of the head. Granted the visual influences are pretty identifiable I'll be god damned if the flow of the film's narrative doesn't just 'work'.
Now, with his craft more assured and his convictions more attune, Clooney has made himself an deadpan, slow-burn historical drama accounting the months in which Edward Murrows and CBS challenged the maniacal Senator Joseph McCarthy at the height of the Red Scare. Displaying a chameleon like attuness to what visual sense the material needs, he has impressed me again, both the comfort with the story and visual sense supplementing it.
No longer is the camera bathed in sepia colors or sporting those lovely little one take camera tricks. Now, Clooney paints the world of CBS News and Ed Morrow as it was: a world of political chaos, bureaucratic injustice, and venomously opposed convictions draped in shades of black and white and filtered through the calming fuzz of a mono speaker. Oh yeah, the sound of the flick is entirely Mono from the front two speakers, how friggin' cool is that!
All the performances are emotionally understated and totally engaging. David Startham turns in a deft mesmerizer of a performance and holds the as steadfastly as he holds his gaze into the camera. Clooney, as Fred Friendly compliments Startham quite nicely and the two are an enjoyable watch.
Everyone follows suit, playing their parts with class and ease. And just like Rugter Hauer side-swiped 'Confessions' with his backbreakingly great performance, so does veteran thespian Frank Langella as CBS executive William Paley and supplies the film with one of it's best scenes.
However, as enjoyable as all the subtly is, the film as a whole can feel a bit too cold, a bit too distant from the high emotions that are coursing through its characters. It especially shows in some of the subplots, especially one in between Robert Downey Jr. and Patricia Clarkson lack some much needed emotional 'ooomf'.
The large amount of archival footage, including all of what is seen of Senator McCarthy, only furthers the authenticity.
The film is forthright with its sociological and political parallels, but there is no real political leaning here. Simply a damn fine testament to the power of the press, the dangers of media manipulation and fanaticism, and the need for conscious, diligent political dialog in our society.
Like I said it's a damn stellar piece, giving the viewer the feeling of just slipping into a moment in time. Clooney has proved himself good on his first impressions and more than welcome to take the director's chair again.
If this is used let the name Pal Saradise go henceforth.
And here's one just as positive! Looks like we really have a winner here!!!
It's not unusual for us Italians to have to wait for months before we get to see American movies (especially if they open during summer). Some movies do open at the same time, and once in a while we are the lucky ones, i.e. some movies open in Europe first.
Last Friday I had a chance to see "Good night, and good luck" here in Rome (fortunately it was no dubbed and I could enjoy it in its original language, usually quite difficult here in Italy). I have to say I had very high expectations and I sure wasn't disappointed: the movie is very, very good.
I won't get into the story details because I'm pretty sure everybody knows them, but this is one of those movies you could talk about for months.
Choosing black and white stock allowed the filmmakers to seamlessly blend the actual real footage of the McCarthy's era into the film without distracting the audience: it was a courageous but somehow logical choice, and it works perfectly. It's pretty scary, because you later realize everything you see in the movie took place not that long ago.
The acting is very good and I wouldn't be surprised if I see Stathairn's name on the oscar nominations list in a few months. Terrific job, but hats off to all the cast.
Technically, this movie is pretty much flawless, and Clooney proves once again he can be an excelletn director, although I'm not completely sure the Robert Downey Jr. subplot worked very well.
I guess the most important thing about this film is its clearly political message, and you can't avoid it. It's not a Michael Moore film, but it makes you think and ask yourself a lot of questions: do we live in a state of fear? are the media partly responsible? Is true journalism still out there or are we being given information by state-controlled puppets? how can we, the people, change things?
The movie doesn't give you answers, and it would be pointless if it did, but it shows how a team of 6 did change things 50 years ago. It's almost scary, because you realize how things are not that different today.
If this movie had come out 2 years ago, it would've been labeled as anti-american and Clooney would have had to apologize for it. Maybe this is the right time for people to see this.
If you use this please call me TrinitÃ :-)