Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane give riveting performances in Hollywoodland, a mesmerizing look at fame, scandal and corruption, based on the true story of Hollywood's most notorious unsolved mystery. After TV's Superman George Reeves' (Affleck) death is ruled a suicide, a down-and-out private detective (Brody) sets out to prove the Man of Steel was really the victim of foul play. But as quickly as he finds suspects, he also finds himself ensnared in a side of Hollywood totally devoid of glamour - a place where truth and justice are not so easily found.
Riverting and sad noir tale
- Hollywoodland review by Tim from London
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You rated this film: 4
This film tells parallel stories of the man who played Superman and the slump in his his career - and a private detective hired to investigate his apparent suicide. The first story is by far the stronger with - and I never thought I would say this - a strong performance by Ben Afflect who portrays Georges Reeves as having an all-American boyish charm with an underlying sadness. The Adrian Brody story felt slightly over-egged - with too many plot twists and dead ends - almost as if it was trying too hard to be Chinatown. But there are some really wonderful moments in this film - especially when Reeves' agent laments the end of the classic age of Hollywood and studio system which produced stars such as Reeves - and the rise of the 'mumbling actors'. If you liked Chinatown and LA Confidential you will like this - although to be fair it is not in the same class as these films - but far better than the Black Dahlia released earlier this year.
I watched it as a detective whodunnit but it is quite possible to see this film as a pastiche of 30's Hollywood or indeed to see it as a biography of Superman. I'll be honest I am not a great fan of Hollywood and did not appreciate that side of it though there will be many who will. They would rate it higher. As a detective film its quite good.