Good Night and Good Luck – a review by Chris Damitio
It’s funny how I have so many preconceived notions about films I haven’t seen. Now that I’ve seen it, I remember being excited about Good Night and Good Luck. It’s the story of television journalism without fear. The story of Edward R. Murrow and CBS News taking on the junior Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph Kennedy. It was good. Understated. Done with a period feel. The lights and darks not so much nuanced as they are by Fellini or Hitchcock, but intentionally blocky and rough…much like the television of the time it represents. It wasn’t slow even though it could have been. It wasn’t bogged down by the use of CBS News footage. It flowed and it worked.
My preconceived notions couldn’t have been further from the truth. I’d listened to the soundtrack numerous times since the movie came out without having seen the film. I forgot what it was about and was led by the sultry jazz vocals of Dianne Reeves to think it was probably a homage to film noir or a heavy romance starring George Clooney. Imagine my surprise to find it to be the story of Edward R. Murrow played by David Straithairn, the man who made ten gallons of chicken soup one night in Alaska for the crew of Limbo and then told them all that I had done it so they would go a bit easier on me at the back country craft service table. I wish I remembered the wisdom he passed on to me about the Buddha nature, something like most people get caught up in the acting and the Hollywood shit, but he always tries to remember that he’s not the Buddha and it gives him perspective. Shit, that was close anyway.