Whoa…wait a minute. Hollywood Reporter columnist Anne Thompson has written in her Risky Business column that “right now, Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain and George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck are leading the Oscar pack.” In other words, Clooney’s film has the second-highest Best Picture heat factor after Lee’s. I’m not saying she’s wrong and I realize that Clooney & Co. have done a brilliant job of promoting their drama about journalistic ethics and personal courage, but if GNAGL has in fact surged as high as Thompson claims, people — Academy members — are losing sight of the overall. They like it because they fondly remember the ’50s and Edward R. Murrow and the values he stood and fought for, etc., but c’mon: GNAGL is a well crafted, very respected film for what it is within its modest perimeters. It’s basically a solid black-and-white, better-than-mezzo-mezzo drama that was cleverly shot like a Playhouse 90 live broadcast from the 1950s. A very sturdy thing, okay, but how can anyone call it a gusher? For a movie to win a Best Picture Oscar it has to least try to say something profound about the the ground we all stand on and the air we all breathe. (I mean, unless it’s a revolting aber- ration like Chicago.) GNAGL is a passion piece about a very rock-steady good guy who said and did the right things, but it’s very particular and historical and doesn’t strike any universal chords or illuminate anything about life on the street…not the one I live on, at least. It’s about life inside a very elite Manhattan bunker some 60 years ago, which was under very peculiar and particular pressures at the time. I’m not saying it won’t be nominated for Best Picture, and I guess it doesn’t matter if journos proclaim this or that film as the second-hottest contender because there’s only one Best Picture winner at the end…but how Good Night, and Good Luck went from being a respected and competitive Best Picture contender to being first runner-up beneath Brokeback Mountain is a bit of a shocker. I would go so far as to say this has been my biggest what-the-fuck? moment of the day so far.