8:00 PM, 3rd June, 2006
Good Night, and Good Luck is the second directorial feature for actor George Clooney. Clooney is fast getting a reputation for his activism in Hollywood, and he has made a film here that is consistent with his political beliefs and actions.Edward R Murrow was a CBS television broadcaster in the 1950s who decided, along with his colleagues, to expose the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of Senator Joseph McCarthys campaign against communists and their sympathisers. Murrow's televised attacks on the senator bring trouble to him and the network, which has to make some tough decisions.
The most poignant part of Good Night, and Good Luck for me was how little has changed over the years - replace "communist" with "terrorist" and you will see the parallels. Strathairn won Best Actor at Venice for his portrayal of Murrow, and the support cast (Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels) are solid as well.Clooney has shown that you can survive a Hollywood train wreck like Batman and Robin and restore your reputation - all you need is skill, integrity and a nose for a good project (are you paying attention, Halle Berry?).
9:25 PM, 3rd June, 2006
The same joke is told a hundred times by a hundred different comics. Thats it? Yep, that's it. The joke itself - the "aristocrats" joke - is an old vaudeville chestnut; comics tell it to one another backstage in order to warm up. No doubt you're curious to know what the joke is. So was I. And now that I know, I'm not going to tell you. For some reason I can't fathom, the punchline of the joke seems to fall under the Official Secrets Act, and giving it away in a film review seems to be a far greater faux pas than revealing the identity of the killer in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. So I guess that means I too must remain silent...
I can tell you this much, though: it's not funny. Not in the least little bit. Or rather, the joke itself isn't funny; but someone telling the joke can be very funny indeed - which is why it's such a perfect warm-up exercise. Tell this supremely unamusing anecdote the right way - and I suppose I should warn you that "the right way" usually involves being as filthy as possible - and it can be hilarious.