L.A. Confidential

14  NOV
Everything is suspect... everyone is for sale... and nothing is what it seems.

Directed by  Curtis Hanson
Written by  James Ellroy, Brian Helgeland, Curtis Hanson
Starring:  Kevin Spacey (Jack Vincennes)
Russell Crowe (Bud White)
Guy Pearce (Ed Exley)
James Cromwell (Dudley Smith)
Kim Basinger (Lynn Bracken)
Danny DeVito (Sid Hudgeons)
Runtime: 136 minutes
1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime. - Greg Bole

Set in a dark Los Angeles of the '50s, L.A. confidential is a fairly complex story of corrupted cops, scandals, murders and high-class prostitutes. While the setting isn't particularly appealing for me, the story is very interesting thanks to the non banality, the deep analysis of the characters and the true unpredictability of the events. This is supported by a good photography that gives the right atmosphere and by good actors.

Unfortunately, the first half of the movie seemed to be quite slow and sometimes even uninteresting, some scene seemed pointless and the whole story seemed hard to follow and somewhat tiresome. However, as the plot proceeds, everything becomes more clear, the story starts to get a sensible shape and most of the things seen at the beginning gains sense. So, although the movie is over 2 hours long, it improves as time passes and even the initial slowness seems to be justified.

The plot is really solid, there are no evident holes and even the various unexpected happenings are quite likely (maybe with the exception of the last scene...). The few funny moments, the very few scary scenes, the cruel gun fights, the love and sex affairs, everything helps building a serious and intelligent movie. The ending, although quite obvious, is still good and surely doesn't spoil the whole movie.

Another merit of the script is that it starts with a sort of voice-over from Danny DeVito as if the whole story was going to be narrated from the point of view of the journalist but then it shifts away to a more 'detached' point of view giving more dynamism and freedom to the story.

Rating: 7.5  ****

Links:  Official Site




© Copyright Sergio Monesi, 1997-1999.
Last updated: 25 Jun 1999