I wonder if there is any film in recent years that beguile you from the start, and in reflect you give a thunderous clap after every single speech delivered by the main character.
If a statement above seems hyperbolic, then perhaps because the title film on our subject is. Or rather, it is larger than life.
The sophomore directorial debut of George Clooney exactly mirrors his own persona: charming, suave and contented. Thus, when he delivers the subject of television journalism serving as a merciless attack towards the communist witch-hunt initiated by Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1950s, Clooney shows that such a resilient persistence has to be done in a grand manner.
The manner is apparent enough through the, literally, smoky screen as we see the main characters continue puffing their way through cigarettes, perhaps symbolizing the perceived image of gentlemen of that era. The backdrop jazz soundtrack provided by Dianne Reeves remind us the insert of Vonda Shepard in Ally McBeal series, that although the presence is considered a background prop, no scenes are wasted whenever they are in.
The combination of the two leads to the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography of Robert Elswit, a deserving Oscar-nominee for his work here, providing illuminous look against the constant terror in the television studio as told to us through a compelling screenplay.
The words as spoken in attention-grabbing style of David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow are indeed echoing the importance of a goggle box called television. Thus, towards the end of the film, after showcasing his star persona in every single scene, Murrow closes his exhibition by giving a toned-down speech, indicating that it is not the television that stupefying us, but rather, how we treat the box as a tool to enhance our mind and our knowledge towards life.
It is by then, a suaver-than-suave persuasion from a person like Clooney can pull it off nicely in this best journalism drama in recent years.
Alas, a film as good as this will leave you wanting for more, long after the closing speech ends with: