Monday, November 07, 2005

All the leaves are doing their beautiful death routine. Some good movies over the weekend: the voice-over doesn't quite manage to sink Shopgirl, the latest entry in the subgenre spawned by Lost in Translation. The actors are so good—so intelligent— that I forgive the story's improbabilities and little pretensions. And I was riveted by Good Night, and Good Luck (the comma is important), a work of great literacy in all sorts of media. George Clooney is the guy I want to be next go round: how many other movie stars have used their disproportionate visibility and clout as creatively as he has on behalf of social cases and consciousness? It's all very well for the likes of Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie to visit poor countries and become spokespeople for charitable causes—bully for them—but Clooney (and his partner in crime Steven Soderbergh—I thought their HBO series K Street was wildly underrated) understands both the limitations and advantages of movie stardom as a force for social change—he knows the most effective thing he can do is make movies like this one and the forthcoming Syriana, which promises to do for the oil industry what Traffic did for the drug trade. Add that to a sense of joy in moviemaking (as seen in Ocean's Eleven and Twelve), and I find myself thinking that Clooney's getting it as right as any actor ever has.

Looking forward to the next reading.

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