our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

01 November 2006

[Reel-Reviews] Hollywoodland (4 stars)

It seems a bit churlish to give this four stars - especially given we were in the starry presence of Bob (Hoskins), Ben (Affleck), Adrien (Brody) and director Allen Coulter after our shimmy down the red carpet...

The story of the 'death by gunshot wound to the head' of America's original Superman, actor George Reeves (Affleck), the film picks away at the studio system, the mess of Reeves' personal life and the veneer of Hollywood fame. As the circumstances of his death are investigated by erratic, freelance PI Louis Simo (Brody), and more and more detail comes to light, several scenarios as to who and why and how that gunshot wound were inflicted are exposed and explored. Deftly highlighting the similarities and differences between Simo and Reeves (their families, lifestyles, hopes, insecurities), the film forces us consider notions of identity and (anti)heroism.

The critics say that it's Affleck’s turn as Reeves that is a career best, but I'd say that Diane Lane's steely and intense performance as Reeves' lover (Toni Mannix) is almost unsurpassable. I'd even mention the 'O' word, but we know what these internet rumours can do to a cast?...

IMDB listing and technorati tag: ,


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