Directed by: George Clooney
Written by: George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Produced by: Grant Heslov
Runtime: 93 minutes
Chances of winning?
With the film being George Clooney’s directorial debut, maybe it attracted votes from the actors’ branch. It is also a good year for Clooney, also starring in the also well-received Syriana, where he himself earned a Best Supporting Actor, so that’s a plus. But aside from Clooney’s star persona, the film also looks sophisticated, cool, and politically important, factors that may have affected the voters in the process.
The critical reception to the film is also enough to encourage more voters to vote for it, but what exactly gives the film the edge from Capote and Munich? The film is George Clooney’s directorial debut. You know how fond they are in critically-acclaimed films directed by actors, especially if for the first time. With that, I’m thinking it has the third highest number of votes.
The threat of communism hits the United States during the 1950s. In reaction to this, Senator McCarthy started tagging many known people as communists or has communist sympathies even if some of these are not even proven. With this, CBS reporter Edward Murrow and producer Fred Friendly courageously stood up against this move of Senator McCarthy, exposing the effects of his actions to several people.
First of all, I must take note how sophisticated the film is in every level possible.
The screenplay is top-notch excellence with the thrilling exchange of dialogue at times make the scene near breathtaking. Rapid-fire conversations bring the already smartly written movie to pulse-pounding intensity and undeniable relevance.
The cinematography is a masterwork – bringing the old-fashioned era to life with its stark and slick camera moves and zooms that add to the film’s urgency and atmosphere. It is crucial for making the film an absorbing beauty. It transports you to this certain setting that you can only penetrate with your senses. With that, the cinematography maximizes the potentials of the sense of sight to completely evoke the time, the place, the space, and the aura the film has. It is a creative choice that serves the film to a high extent.
The sound goes hand in hand with the cinematography to inflict to us the whole experience of being right there in the scenario. It comes off as raw, but also clean cut and refined. The choice of the sparsely placed music adds up to the experience the movie provides with full attention to detail.
The editing propels the whole movie, giving each scene a gripping speed, almost racing with time that suddenly upsets us with moments of silence that makes the movie a lot more thrilling to watch.
Also worth noticing are the impeccable production and costume design and the brilliant hairstyling that validates each actor as a real person who did exist in the time the story was set. When you watch the movie, one can’t help but notice the specificity of each character’s hairstyle – how well-combed, shiny, and firm they are.
But above all this is the genius found in George Clooney’s direction. He makes the film a highly fascinating pursuit of gutsy technique. There is a certain amount of fearlessness present on how he controls each scene with a steady hand and, at the same time, invigorating confidence. There is always an undeniable force that pushes each scene forward, a strong voice that lets both style and content flourish in each shot with full harmony and grace. Add to that is the engrossing quality that the film earns for having total focus on the characters and on the subject matter that puts the film’s pace into a sense of unpredictable rhythm.
With that, the cast does great to serve this startling vision. Familiar faces of Jeff Daniels, Frank Langella, Robert Downey Jr., and Patricia Clarkson populate this movie with restrained conviction, adding the humanity in the story.
David Strathairn gives Edward Murrow an understated blaze that becomes the film’s core. He gives Murrow a slow burning quality beneath the quiet exterior painted with controlled stress. He sacrifices the easy way out of showing all of the character’s dimensions by shedding it to give a mysterious center to the story that serves the film’s purpose. He projects an interesting mixture of reserved strength and hinted sensitivity. George Clooney gets the somewhat showier character of Fred Friendly, though he still gets to be reserved for most of the time. He engages in each scene in full throttle as he completely inhabit the character, letting his cool control each scene with ease.
The film is a stylish film, a commendable product of all the cinematic elements come together. It helps that the film is easy to watch, but is filled with heart-stopping dialogue and quiet moments of coldness. It is a masterpiece of stylish restraint. It is a film with evident craftsmanship executed with smoothness and authenticity. It is a movie that’s easier to admire than to fully love, but it is an extremely admirable movie that deserves to be seen. In my case, again.
For this, the film gets:
So, agree or disagree?