Film Review: Hollywoodland

30 Nov

Plot: June 16, 1959. The glamour of Tinseltown permanently fades for actor George Reeves, the heroic Man of Steel on TV’s “Adventures of Superman,” as the actor dies in his Hollywood Hills home. Felled by a single gunshot wound, Reeves (portrayed in “Hollywoodland” by Academy Award winner Ben Affleck) leaves behind a fiancée – aspiring starlet Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney) – and millions of fans who are shocked by his death. But it is his grieving mother, Helen Bessolo (Lois Smith), who will not let the questionable circumstances surrounding his demise go unaddressed. Helen seeks justice, or at least answers. The Los Angeles Police Department closes the case, but Helen hires – for $50 a day – private detective Louis Simo (Academy Award winner Adrien Brody). Simo soon ascertains that the torrid affair Reeves had with Toni Mannix (Academy Award nominee Diane Lane), the wife of MGM studio executive Eddie Mannix (Academy Award nominee Bob Hoskins), might hold the key to the truth. – Courtesy of Yahoo Movies

So why did I watch this movie as I don’t like Ben Affleck nor Adrien Brody? Well, curiousity got the better of me after Affleck won the Best Actor award in the recent Venice Film Festival with his portrayal of George Reeves. So instead of giving in to another desire to see Casino Royale for the 4th time, I controlled myself and went to see this instead. So what did I think of Affleck’s performance? Ehr, not too soon, I’ll address that a bit later.

Having been disappointed by Brian de Palma’s The Black Dahlia, I didn’t put so much high expectations to this film. I have not heard much of the director (Allan Coulter) either but remember seeing the episode of Rome he directed. I thought the film was much better put than Dahlia and the performances were much more solid, from Brody to Lane to Hoskins and finally to Affleck. I havent seen Affleck so comfortable in a role, it feels like his previous efforts were all contrived but not in this film. Saying that, the film felt so long, had I not taken my caffeine boost in the form of a cafe mocha I could easily doze in some parts of the film. I still long to see the day when films done during this era will learn a lesson or two from L. A. Confidential, until then, keep at it Hollywood!

Hollywoodland: 3/5

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2 Responses to “Film Review: Hollywoodland”

  1. Jonathan December 7, 2006 at 3:31 am #

    After seeing the trailer, my expectations were huge for this.

    Obviously, I was let down.

    Not so much by the performances. Brody was AWESOME, and his character was one of my favorites of the year, and Hoskins was great as well, hell, even Affleck wasn’t too bad… but the movie itself was lacking.

    Maybe it was the unresolved ending, but I don’t think so.
    It just wasn’t that great.
    Still, I think a 7/10 or a 7.5/10 is more around the score I’d give it.

    Maybe this “L.A. Confidential” sequel coming out can do it again.

  2. Simone December 10, 2006 at 1:06 am #

    You’re talking about White Jazz Jonathan?

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