42. Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005)

A film that is not only beautifully rendered in familiar and yet abstracted black and white, Good Night and Good Luck seems to be an artful and respectful appeal for intelligence in popular cultural. It avoids the trappings of condescension, only suggesting the ramifications of a closed off and restrictive social system that shoots first and asks questions later. Edward R. Murrow becomes the symbol of this appeal, as Good Night and Good Luck explores his attack on Senator McCarthy’s fear mongering and the personal effect it has on himself and his co-workers. It is a film that appeals to individual integrity, but never skirts from the consequences, nor does it suggest that the inability to stand up or hold to your values is a sign of supreme weakness; it is only human to want to save yourself. This is a plea for justice, a demand for equality and fairness, and it supports a belief that an intellectual discourse is never removed totally from emotional appeals, and that isn’t a bad thing. David Strathairn gives one of my favourite performances of the decade.

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