It’s an entry in the ongoing series ‘Starz Inside’ that the cable network Starz likes to label ‘documentary,’ but this one, at least, feels exactly like the kind of promotional filler you find filling up odd scheduling holes on premium movie channels (it’s suspiciously 59 minutes in length).
Oh please please please let it be true that Ben Stiller is done with the humiliation ‘comedies’ and is getting back to his roots in smart satire.
This might well be the perfect comic book movie, actually. It’s just pertinent enough to feel like it’s set in something like the real world and just tongue-in-cheek enough not to get too heavy about it, but it’s got enough self-respect to be sincere.
Fincher rivets us through what could have been an interminable two-hour-and-forty-minute runtime, by daringly jumping through a crime spree that spanned decades with brisk panache, boiling it down into slices of suspense, drama, and fear, with a bit of media criticism thrown in sideways for spice.
It’s something close to a stroke of genius that once-wunderkind screenwriter Shane Black sought out Robert Downey Jr. to star in his directorial debut. Not because Downey is so achingly sublime an actor and so funkily charismatic a screen presence that it near to makes you want to weep with despair at what brilliance we’ve missed from him over the years during which he wasn’t able to keep his shit together — though he certainly does give us one of the most deliciously shivery-great performances so far this year in *Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.*
Are you now, or have you ever been, a journalist? That’s what *Good Night, and Good Luck.* feels like, a smooth, sardonic smack in the face of today’s so-called newspeople, the cinematic equivalent of a withering glare and a disdainful roll of the eyes. Oh, this is an angry movie, calm and collected on the surface and seethed with reeled-in rage underneath. Yeah, it’s about Edward R. Murrow and how he took on McCarthy’s insanity, but what it’s really about is how we need a Murrow now and is there no one, not one supposed journalist, with the balls to take up Murrow’s mantle of integrity and honesty and fearlessness?
Beautifully written by W.D. Richter and directed with a sure hand by Jodie Foster, Home for the Holidays wraps all those contradictory feelings up and serves them for Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps the most realistic holiday movie I’ve ever seen, this oddly charming, poignant, and blackly funny film is a treasure not to be missed.