Thursday, February 23, 2006

good night and good luck

Went to see this last night and was surprised at how little I enjoyed it. I thought Mark Kermode- may he live forever - made a good point (in his review of The Constant Gardener) when he said that sometimes if a film carries a worthy or important message we can feel compelled to say that it is a good film. That's how I felt about Good Night and Good Luck : loved the message (how important the freedom to dissent is in a society) but the film-making choices didn't work for me at all - not a single exterior shot, hardly any wide shots, no soundtrack (apart from the few Jazz songs that were used to break up the monotonous pace) - and by the way, isn't it interesting to see how much we have come to rely on soundtracks in films to dictate the pace and the tell us how we are supposed to be feeling - all these things added up to a not particularly enjoyable filmgoing experience for me.
But then again, what do we go to the movies for? to be entertained (which I wasn't) or to be informed (which I guess I was).
I am surprised, though, that this film has made it into the nominations for the Oscar for best film. I can only think (as Chris pointed out in the pub afterwards) that perhaps that is because of the parallels with the possible current erosion of civil liberties under Bush and Blair in their war on terror and the thinking that whoever is not for us is against us - which is very McCarthy-ite.


Kyle said...

Well, yes. :0)

Chris Bullivant said...

I thought it very brave of the makers to include so many cigarettes in the film - what a continuity nightmare. I wonder if they'd made, for the main guy who smoked all the time, a fake cigarette that stayed the same size with a constant plume of smoke. A cinema-goer in front of me said to his girlfriend as we left, 'a bad time to give up'.