It’s hard out there when you’re Edward R. Murrow.

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

I’m trying to think of exactly what convolution of categories and the politics of the movie business that would have earned an Academy Award, or two, or three for Good Night and Good Luck, George Clooney’s ‘little’ movie about the CBS journalist and the struggle for free speech in the McCarthy era.

You’d think in a year without a cavalcade of blockbusters, without a Titanic or a Lord of the Rings, a ‘little’ film would have a chance. But the voters—who makes up that ‘Academy’, anyway?—were distracted by bright shiny films about gay cowboys and uh…what’s Crash about anyway? I haven’t seen either of them.

I’d like to think that the fault, dear Brutus, lays mostly with an Academy that spent a lot of time Sunday night promoting and re-promoting the idea that films are meant to be experienced in big darkened rooms with mostly silent strangers and fancy surround sound systems, not in your home theatre.

As if they don’t make huge portions of their profit for every films off of DVD sales?

We have this little movie shot in vivid black-and-white, a movie that takes place almost entirely indoors. It’s a short film, barely ninety minutes. It was a terrific experience in the theatre. It’s going to be probably equally compelling on DVD.

It deserves honors. I understand that it’s an “honor simply to be nominated” for an Oscar, but maybe they ought to consider a category for Socially Significant Little Monochromatic Masterpieces…and sure, one for Shiny Ang Lee Preconception Shatterers as well.