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Monday, November 27, 2006

Review: Hollywoodland

Hollywoodland, is the depiction of the mysterious events surrounding Actor George Reeve's death. Reeve's was the actor who played Superman in the TV series in the 50's.
The movie is a classy trip into these strange and still today unresolved events. It looks at three different possibilities as to how the actor dies. Two murders and one suicide.
About 10 minutes into this picture, I remembered that in all liklihood, this film wasn't going to have a resolution. And although I wasn't wrong, was I disappointed either. It crafts itself around some outstanding performances from Diane Lain, Adrian Brody and probably most noticable of all, Ben Affleck.

Affleck plays Reeve's and is thoroughly convincing. The troubled Superman actor begrudging initially the role that was to make him famous, and then chain him down in his career, which arguably led to his death. Its like a new Ben Affleck. So enthrawling is his portrayal of Reeve's you find yourself forgetting all the reasons you just can't stand Affleck (I speak from personal opinion here of course *cough*daredevil*cough*)

The film is set in the 50's in LA, and you honestly do feel like you've been taken back there, with dazzling parties and afluent party goers, beautiful sets and a cast that is completely capable, all make for an enchanting experience.

So, all praise aside, the movie did leave me wondering if I actually "liked" it. Now, its not the kind of movie thats instantly likable. That said, neither is it a subject that could be considered enjoyable subject matter. After all, it is a movie about a real life death of a much loved actor still to this day unresolved... But after mulling it over for a while, I finally settled that it passes the test.

I'd recommend this movie as a serious film, and one that you should not expect any real conclusion to. Its an exploration into the slow and steady decline of an actor trapped by a role he plays and finding solice in booze and addiction. Affleck is amazing, and Adrian Brody holds his own, with Diane Lane supporting with a sterling performance. One to watch out for on Oscar day no doubt.
4 stars

Go see!

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