...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

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It comes in on Friday to local theaters. It runs an hour and a half. TAKE THE TIME TO GO SEE IT. It’s terrific. It’s better than terrific. It’s simple and powerful and should NOT be missed.

People who share my love of John Sayles and have heard me go nuts over “Return of the Secaucus 7” may know David Strathairn. If you watch “The Sopranos” (which I don’t) you may know him. I’ve been nuts about the actor for some time. This is beyond a doubt, to me, his best performance. He’s just perfect as Edward R. Murrow.

If the story doesn’t interest you, there’s not much I can say to change your mind. If you don’t know the story, trust me and go. Or ask your mother what she remembers about that time, your grandmother or go look the film up over at IMDB or the Warner Brothers website. It’s about television and news and power and politics and Senator Joseph McCarthy and about courage and standing up and oh that all sounds so flowery and over-dramatic. Which the movie most certainly is NOT. Just go.

George Clooney is a really great guy; he took his money and his considerable weight in Hollywood to tell an important story. He told it in black and white. He used great actors and he used the words of the individuals involved which is all that was needed. You’ll hear what people really were saying, because of course the footage of McCarthy is REAL, including when he blatantly lies (it’s still baffling to me how he’d lie about something easily checked and yet…) and the words Strathairn speaks as Murrow are, of course, all a matter of record. That he spoke in fully formed sentences with gravity and focus and sounded formal and almost resolute, but always thoughtful, is something we no longer are accustomed to, I think, in our news reporters or indeed, from most people. I know it took more of concentration and focus to listen.

And I know it’s probably silly to say this, as I’m sure no one reading this IS, but if you happen to be a member off the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, nominate Strathairn for the Oscar, would you?


“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”

“This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”

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