Top films of '05

George Clooney had two films in release in 2005, both of which make my list of the year’s top ten films. The first, Good Night, and Good Luck, takes a sharply focused look at a moment when TV journalist Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) exposed the shallowness of Wisconsin senator Joe McCarthy’s obsession with communism (McCarthy plays himself in archival footage). Clooney both directed and scripted the film and also plays a supporting role. He yields the main performance to Strathairn, who speaks in Morrow’s somber, clipped style for a dead-on portrayal. The picture, shot in black and white to evoke the era, captures a time when Murrow was at his professional peak. The film also depicts CBS’s reluctance to support Murrow, and its insistence that in return for his courageous documentary work he conduct celebrity interviews with pop stars like Liberace, an assignment he detested.

 

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