I have to say, there is definitely something lost in the viewing of a movie like this in a classroom setting. What do I mean?
I mean, look. George Clooney and other handsome men in suits? Robert Downey Jr. in crisp black-and-white close-ups? (Seriously, there was a Buzzfeed list about why Robert Downey Jr is the sexiest man ever and it is a travesty that there was not one mention of how incredible he looks in black and white. I mean, for real:
Mmmmmmm.) Point is, in a classroom setting, there’s no one around to squeal with you about these wonderful gifts of cinema, and that’s just tragic.
Okay, I’m emerging from the shallow end of the pool now.
On a more intellectual level, I would compare this movie extremely favorably to The Newsroom, and consider it to be about on par with House of Cards, which, if you’ve read my reviews, is high praise.
It’s better than The Newsroom because it features the same message but gets it across so much more effectively and less annoyingly — instead of having characters rant and rave and speechify about how idealistic they are and how much better the news should be and explain over and over again what they’re going to do to make it better, the characters in Good Night and Good Luck just do it. When they know they’re going to lose advertisers over a controversial segment, they just immediately agree to pay the difference out of their own pockets. Actions speak louder than words, yo. Consistent problem with Newsroom is that its words far outweigh its actions.
The House of Cards comparison is mostly on the level of pacing. Both are what I’ve heard people refer to as “slow” but are what I tend to think of instead as “atmospheric.” There is such a thing as too much atmosphere and not enough story (see: Star Trek: The Motion Picture), but in my personal opinion (and hey this is my blog so who else’s opinion were you expecting), both House of Cards and Good Night and Good Luck found a good balance for the stories they were telling. While watching, I felt completely immersed in the world of the movie/show, and felt like the story unfolded and developed at an appropriate speed. In politics and newsmaking, things don’t happen all at once, people don’t constantly shoot spitfire dialogue back and forth, high drama isn’t constant, and I enjoy its depiction here.