Posted on 1/06/06 10:27 AM
I enjoyed Cinderella Man, Ray and even A Beautiful Mind, but Clooney's second film as director takes the biopic to altogether more courageous and memorable heights. True, I've never been opposed to a little embellishment for the sake of sprucing up a narrative, but as sober as Good Night, and Good Luck is, it's still one of the most engrossing films of the year. Admittedly, at 93 minutes, this needn't have been any longer, but what's there is damn near pitch perfect. Courtesy of the wonderfully economic, but perspicacious script, Murrow's verbal sparring with Senator McCarthy is always engaging, but Clooney's film soars when colleagues get together and talk about the day's events. "Night" is surprisingly humorous at times, grippingly earnest on occasion (well done Mr. Langella), but crushingly devastating at least once. Ray Wise, one of Clarence Boddicker's thugs in Robocop amusingly enough, gives the performance of a lifetime in a ridiculously small role as a targeted news anchor. In one scene, his face alternates between indignation, shock, doubt and fury in a matter of seconds and with such inward conviction that it should net him a best supporting actor nomination. It won't happen of course, but I'd love to see it. Sure, Strathairn is ace too, but then you already knew that. Finally, if a more authentic looking film set in the fifties, but shot recently, exists, I have yet to see it. Marvel as Strathairn, from the studio, interviews Liberace in his home and both actor and musician truly seem to occupy the same time period. This is a cool cool cool film, but has Clooney ever been anything less than cool? Best not answer that I guess. Good Night, And Good Luck may very well end up as my #3 or #4 of the year.