David Straithairn received his first Oscar nomination for portraying television journalist Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck.
The main reasons I like the film is its to the pointless, although makes it so there is barely any personal stories and Edward R. Murrow is almost always seen in a professional light. Murrow is portrayed as almost perfect in the film, which is well enough since they do not over do it but at the same time it leaves Murrow as a somewhat simple character. In fact the depiction of him is only a little more than in more detailed historical documentary films one might see on PBS or the history channel. In fact I saw one of these on J. Oppenheimer where David Straithairn played Oppenheimer in the reenactment footage. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing. After all I thought his performance as Oppenheimer was quite effective and made that documentary film more interesting.
As Murrow he is good at playing exactly how Murrow must be portrayed for this film's message. As the journalist who fights for what is right and wants television to be used to bring attention to important issues in the world. He handles Murrow well in a straight to the point performance. He does not really look like Murrow but that does not matter in the least. He does not really imitate Murrow voice but he does imitate his unique way of speaking, which is very effective. He has the right rhythm in his clear spoken way that correctly represents Murrow to the affine way of speaking. Straithairn also has the right physical movements that are equally follow Murrow's movements. Now outside of when he is television he acts basically the same, just with the tiniest bit more relaxed, and with a little more personality. He never shows that much emotion and keeps Murrow fact based as he would be in a documentary. I never have a problem with the approach and it works well in the film. Straithairn's performance is integral to the film, it is not a risky performance or a challenging one but it is a good one.