Good Night, and Good Luck

directed by George Clooney
Category: "Drama"
Year of Release:2005
Date Added:04/11/2008
Date Watched:05/07/2006
My Rating:6

Reviews for Good Night, and Good Luck

Review - Good Night, and Good Luck

Why I saw it: I was aware of it when it came out last winter but never got around to seeing it. I got interested again when I read a biography of McCarthy earlier this year. Kelli watched it last week and recommended it.

Brief Synopsis: CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and his team decide to take a stand against Senator Joe McCarthy’s methods in his hunt for communists. In response, McCarthy and his supporters spread lies and make accusations about Murrow. But in the end, it is the loss of sponsorship that curbs Murrow. By that time, however, McCarthy is under investigation by the Senate.

What I liked about it: I really liked the fact that they used actual footage of McCarthy. The mood of the film was interesting, and Strathairn did a good job portraying Murrow (at least I imagine he did, having never seen Murrow himself).

What I didn’t like about it: It was somehow weak. I didn’t get involved emotionally with the characters — perhaps because so much time was spent on atmosphere shots of some woman singing. It also led to the impression that it was Murrow who brought McCarthy down, but the reality was that McCarthy’s lies just caught up to him.

Bottom line: I gave it a 6. I thought I’d like it more than I did, but it just never engaged me.

Other comments: McCarthy was wrong because he had no fact, didn’t follow the rules and was just out for his own aggrandizement. There may have been a communist threat in the 1950s, but if there was, McCarthy’s antics distracted anyone from actually discovering it — all his shenanigans failed to reveal a single one.

And it’s easy to make the connection, as I’m pretty sure George Clooney was trying to do and as many of the reviewers have, between McCarthyism and the patriot act. There’s one large difference — McCarthy had no evidence. Bush has 9/11. When a country is under attack, it’s a fine line between protecting the citizens and violating people’s civil rights. There is no method that can adequately do both to everyone’s satisfaction. All a government can do is the best it can do. And all we as citizens can do is pay attention and make sure it’s being done as well as it can be done.
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