by Haley Moon
Good Night and Good Luck is a 2005 film depiction of House Un-American Activities Committee's anti-Communist hearings, set in the mid-1950s. The $7 million budget drama follows Edward Murrow, a broadcast journalist played by David Strathairn, and his producer Fred Friendly, portrayed by George Clooney, who aids in stopping the senator of Wisconsin and his Communist agenda in the already paranoid United States. Using television media, the men began exploiting the senator on the CBS News program "See It Now". Murrow challenges the senator’s claims of upcoming communist threats and is challenged both personally and professionally as he faces journalistic trials of censorship, exploitation and struggle to face the potential repercussions of exposing fragile knowledge affecting the people.
Although a modern day film, the motion picture was filmed in color then converted to black and white. The film had a noir feel to it and immediately transported me back in time and made me want to wear a dress dripping with diamonds and drink a glass of expensive champagne while listening to Ella Fitzgerald. A star studded cast featured George Clooney, David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr. and Alex Borstein. Taking on the persona of historically important individuals is a challenge—to pay respect to that person and give homage to the past; yet the cast of Good Night and Good Luck embodied the characters and took a story plot and created a on-screen camaraderie with excellent depictions of journalism, although the politically charged drama was hard to follow for the less politically savvy. Nominated for six Oscars, the film challenges your morals and forces your mind to think about the ethical dilemmas that broadcast journalists face every day. While youngsters under 15 would not enjoy the movie’s heavy content, it is given a rating of PG for mild thematic elements and brief language. The hour and 30 minute long film grossed $31.5 million at the box office.
The New York Times says, "Good Night, and Good Luck is not the kind of historical picture that dumbs down its material, or walks you carefully through events that may be unfamiliar. Instead, it unfolds, cinéma-vérité style, in the fast, sometimes frantic present tense…” My feelings toward this film are quite similar. With comedic one-liners thrown in, the movie jumped between the famous speech by Murrow at a convention and the films progression forcing you to pay attention to every detail instead of Pinteresting, Facebooking, and watching the film at the same time.