Sunday, November 20, 2005

On Film

I spent the day with Mike in restaurants, taxi cabs and cinemas, and over thirteen and a half hours we spanned Seattle, managing a fine brunch at Lola, panang curry at Phuket on Queen Anne, five movies that were worth seeing, and a confession by an East African cab driver who is a descendent of the lost tribe of Ireland. “I thought I was black all my life until my DNA test and they told me I was Irish. When I found out I was white I changed my last name to Patrick and became a Catholic,” he said, crossing himself and adding a “praise the Lord” in for good measure.

Mr. Patrick found out that the ship bearing his ancestors left Ireland for America but that the ship took a wrong turn and ended up in Africa. He suspects perhaps they were actually bound for Australia, and that his forefathers were criminals.

It might have made a good movie.

At any rate, of the five movies we saw today (none were about teenage wizards, thank you) I have to put George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck at the top of the list. In fact, I think it’s one of the finest films I have seen all year. And if you want to put present-day politics aside, it’s a tightly-executed telling of Edward R. Murrow’s coverage of the McCarthy hearings, well-scripted and superbly cast. David Strathairn is outstanding as Murrow – a crisp, understated and very compelling performance. A nod, too, to Robert Downey, Jr. (it’s good to see him busy again), and George Clooney, who plays Fred Friendly in the movie, excels as co-writer and director as well. The black and white photography is outstanding.

And I cannot close this review without pointing out that Dianne Reeves’ jazz soundtrack was exquisite. Like metled butter. Sweet as honey. That good. Really.


Todd said...

Ah...Dianne Reeves. I could listen to her all day long. As for Clooney, I insist he was the best Batman. Regards to Pickle.

kristina said...

We saw Good Night and Good Luck last Thursday (Thanksgiving night- traditional movie night!) The only reason we went to see it was because of Diane Reeves at the urging of several musician friends of mine. The only feeling it left with me was a strong desire to have a cigarette (lots of them)in a jazz bar. That is the smokiest movie I've ever seen!