Oscar Preview: Good Night, and Good Luck

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By Timothy Guy

David Strathairn stars as Edward R. Murrow (AMPAS)

By Timothy Guy

With a total of six Academy Award nominations it would appear as if “Good Night, and Good Luck” will be assured at least one gold statue… if it were any other year.

“Good Night, and Good Luck” tells the story of the CBS journalists, led by renowned newsman Edward R. Murrow, who stand up against Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his paranoia inducing threats of communism in the 1950s.

The film’s strongest attribute is the acting, led by Best Actor nominee David Strathairn as Murrow. The entire supporting cast including Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Jeff Daniels does a terrific job and basically hold the film together.

Clooney’s direction is good, but competing in a field with well-known directors like Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg is going to make his winning a Best Director Oscar a long shot. The look and feel of “Good Night, and Good Luck” is simple compared to the scope of “Brokeback Mountain” and “Munich.” It is not that Clooney does not deserve to win the directing prize, but it seems like Spielberg and Lee had to work a lot harder for their directing nominations.

The other major award the film is up for is Best Original Screenplay, written by Clooney and Grant Heslov. While overall the writing is intriguing, it does hit some snags along the way. The competition in this field is also very strong with films like “Crash,” “Syriana” and “Match Point.”

This film’s message is very important, especially given the many First Amendment issues going on in our society today. “Good Night, and Good Luck” is a good film with a great purpose.

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