Thursday, March 8, 2012


The Black Dahlia. Johnny Stompanato. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. The blend of crime and Hollywood has captivated people for decades. The more unanswered questions there are, the more compelling the crime becomes.

Hollywoodland focuses on the life, career and sudden death of George Reeves (Ben Affleck). The latter aspect has been raising questions for years. His death was ultimately ruled a suicide, but much of the evidence rules something else? Who killed Superman? Himself or someone else?

The murder theory catches the eye of private investigator Louis Simo (Adrien Brody). Simo could in the same field as Robert Graysmith from Zodiac. Both are willing to go to great lengths to uncover more facts. Unlike Graysmith, Simo doesn't let the case go straight to his head. And unlike Simo, Graysmith knows when to stop when he's going too far.

The film shows that Reeves could have been murdered. After all, he was in a relationship with a married woman (Diane Lane) who helped him get acting gigs. Once he got famous, he broke off the relationship, even though she was still in love with him. But the film also supports the theory that Reeves killed himself. After all, he craved a long-lasting career in Hollywood but fate didn't deal him that card.

Hollywoodland is a really interesting film. The acting is great, particularly Brody and especially Affleck. It feels as though the viewer is transported to 1959 Los Angeles. In fact, a double feature of this and Zodiac would be grand, exploring two of the biggest mysteries in California history.

My Rating: ****1/2

1 comment:

  1. I had mixed feelings on this film. I wished it focused more on Reeves and less on the detective.


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