Sunday, November 27, 2005

Lights and wires in a box

This weekend I saw Good Night, and Good Luck, which, if you don't know, chronicles CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow as he takes on Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunts against alleged communists. The story represents an important moment in journalism, when some news people decided that revealing the truth about the government was not necessarily a bad thing, and that revealing the truth does not equal editorializing.

George Clooney directed this movie and co-wrote the screenplay, and my respect for him has skyrocketed, though I have always been a fan. Not only has Clooney chosen an important and timely story to tell, but he tells it in a beautiful, poetic way. His choice of camera shots, his decision to use black and white, and his casting of David Strathairn (who will be nominated for an Oscar) all show that he is an artist and filmmaker of the first rate. His best directing choice is to use only actual archival footage of McCarthy rather than casting an actor to play him. This way, we can see the real flaws in a deeply flawed man.

The story reveals truths about our history and about the current state of television that are important and relevant. As Murrow says at the end of the movie, "the new medium of television had the potential to educate, illuminate and inspire." However, Murrow says, "it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is merely lights and wires in a box."

Here in late November, I am making an early prediction: George Clooney will win the Oscar for Best Direction.

And now I am even more excited for Syriana.


At 11:29 PM, Blogger Tay posited...

this is one of those movies that falls into the catagory with "the constant gardener" and such that i really wanted to see, but they never came to brainerd...

i also have an early oscar pick. emma watson: best actress... or girl of my dreams... whichever works.

(actually, best actor: joaquin phoenix and best actress: reese witherspoon)

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

I'm thinking that Peter Jackson is going to take down Best Director for KING KONG.

At 12:49 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Hollywood loves to reward actors when they become directors: Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner -- all have won Best Director.
And while King Kong will no doubt be great, it is not the kind of movie that generally wins Best Director. I know Peter Jackson won, but I think he was being rewarded for the trilogy rather than just for Return of the King.
And now that he has lost all of that weight, he looks suspiciously like Dominic Monaghan.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger jobble posited...

speaking of amazing movies that don't come to brainerd... In the mix. how is that not coming to brainerd?!

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Carson posited...

Clooney's directing is top notch. I loved Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

But I don't think he will get the nod for Best Director. My guess would be Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (I haven't seen it yet, but from what I hear and read it should be amazing.)

At 11:25 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

From all the advanced word I read, Brokeback Mountain will definitely pile up the nominations. All the "pre-Oscar" lists predict nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Heath Ledger.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger pkizzle posited...

The Constant Gardener was good, though a little slow, and confusing more than anything.

How has nobody mentioned The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe? Or as we call it here, "Fuckin Narnia!!" There is no doubt in my mind that it will be the greatest movie since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And you can take that. . .to da bank.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger hannah posited...

fun fact!
george clooney has never even attended the oscars!

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Houley posited...

Wow. Neither have I.

Small world.


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