Perhaps young people can learn from this film. This
mornings Albuquerque Journal had a review written
by a High School student.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Clooney's Film 'Good' on History
By Katye Ellison,
senior, Highland High School
For the Journal
REVIEW: George Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck," a
black-and-white, documentary-style film of the McCarthy era, retells the
kind of history you don't want to see repeat itself.
The story begins at an awards banquet for CBS's hard-hitting
anchorman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn). To the surprise of the
audience, Murrow launches into an eloquent speech warning of the news
media's shift from journalism to entertainment and consumerism.
Shortly after, in his show "See It Now," Murrow begins to follow the
case of an Air Force soldier's unexplained discharge. When he learns of
the case's connection to the McCarthy prosecutions, he gets the backing
of his producer Fred Friendly (George Clooney) to investigate.
Much to the dismay of network president William Paley (Frank
Langella), the show quickly comes under the scrutiny of both the
McCarthy prosecutors and the network sponsors. In true
freedom-of-the-press fashion, Friendly and crew decide to expose
McCarthy and inform the people of the truth behind the political curtain.
"Good Night" is truly a rarity. The dialogue and script are ingenious.
Full of witty one-liners and punchy jokes, the film breaks from the
formulaic periodical mold and pokes fun at the present.
Moving speeches introduce the audience to the American public's fear,
and the '50s, jazz-era soundtrack serves as a tension release and, in some
cases, a foreshadowing of events to come. Clooney infuses commercials
and footage from the McCarthy hearings and genuine clips from the
McCarthy debates so the senator can speak for himself.
Finally finding his style after the shaky "Confessions of a Dangerous
Mind," Clooney has struck gold using techniques of 1950s' era
filmmaking. The sideways views and indirect shots elicit a sense of unrest.
The bravery of these journalism pioneers deserves a compassionate
memorial, which is just what "Good Night" provides. It is well worth
seeing, and not just for the history lesson, but for a lesson in how a few
people can make a monumental difference.