George Clooney, 2005, USA (93 mins)
David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson
This is a crisp and serious depiction of CBS broadcaster Edward Murrow’s risky 1953 challenge to the methods of Senator McCarthy during the Communist witch-hunts. As director, Clooney trumpets his liberal values with a moral rhapsody for dark times, drawing prescient conclusions on the importance of US self-scrutiny on the issue of democracy and the value of crusading journalism in a climate of fear.
The atmosphere is taut and smoky, with sharp performances all round and Strathairn particularly electrifying as Murrow. While the film’s nostalgic lingering on machismo occasionally feels misplaced, musical interludes from jazz singer Diane Reeves keep it classy and refreshing. Kate Taylor