This film was a real treat, with Strathairn's dead-on performance as legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow a sure bet for at least an Oscar nomination. Perhaps the best decision by writer-director George Clooney was to cast no one in the role of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Instead, Clooney uses actual footage of McCarthy in the HUAC hearings and press conferences. Movies based on actual historical events often sensationalize events, but the extensive use of documentary footage brings home the reality of this movie's story line.
In addition to Strathairn's best performance to date, the entire cast delivers, from Clooney himself as Murrow's producer Fred Friendly, to Frank Langella as CBS chairman William Paley, to Ray Wise as the insecure anchorman Don Hollenbeck. If there is a weak point in the cast, it is Jeff Daniels, who was given little to do in the role of news director Sig Mickelson and did little with it.
As most people today are acquainted with the 1950s through black-and-white images, the decision to film in black-and-white also feels appropriate, and helps the documentary footage to blend in seamlessly with the filmed actors. I strongly recommend this film to those who lived through the McCarthy era and to those, such as myself, who only have witnessed it in the rear view mirror.
http://braidedthreads.blogspot.com/2008/09/bourne-again.html ... This film promises to reaveal much of what has been hidden through the series--enough to satisfy us, and bring some things full circle. It reemphasizes some of Bourne's culpability in the ruthless person he became, and gives him the chance, if not to redeem himself, at least to be able to grow into someone different. He shows considerable restrain in this movie, as if to hold back the machinery of Bourne-the-killer, who is able to act violently without regret or remorse. He is both capable of violence, and capable of choice, and it is fascinating to watch the intersection of these dual impulses.
How is this for an ultimatum.. give me my money back or else!! Unfortunately I am not sure who to hold accountable for this mess. I can't blame Damon he is like the obidient dog that sits under the table waiting for scraps. I can't blame Julie Stiles for toally being mis-cast (note to Julie, stick to bad dance movies from not on). Guess I have to blame myself for seeing this. Guess I owe myself some money.