Friday, March 17, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck


I'm guessing that it's easy to overpraise or overcriticize Good Night, and Good Luck and never really go after what's really going on.

Oddly, this is my second review in row for a movie that doesn't make any concerted effort to bow to the rules of Hollywood story structure. Good Night, and Good Luck less throws them out and more takes instead uses the structure of a documentary. This actually makes a lot of sense for the story and yet I can't think of many "docudramas" that go the full distance and uses this structure.

Part of the reason it works is that it's shot like old television. Not only in black and white, but lit from strange places that cast shadows all across the screen. By setting up this artifice, it makes it easier to follow as something other than a Hollywood movie.

As it goes, the movie having been out long enough and written about in enough detail, I can think of little else original to say. The only major addition I'd want to add is to make note of Frank Langella's brilliant performance. Faced with a character who could easily have come across as a two-dimensional corporate bastard, he conveyed a genuine thoughtful humanity.

Otherwise, yes, I enjoyed it. Yes, I think we need someone to remind us the role of the press. Yes, I highly recommend everyone check it out.

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