Struggling private investigator Louis Simo treats his work more as a means to make a living than a want to do right by what few clients he has. Through connections with the investigation firm for which he used to work, Simo is hired by Helen Bessolo to investigate the death of her son, actor George Reeves. Reeves was best known for his title role in Adventures of Superman (1952), a role which he always despised, in part since it typecast him as a "cartoon", despite it bringing him a certain fame. His June 16, 1959 death by a single gunshot wound while in his bedroom in his Los Angeles home was ruled a suicide by the police, the death which occurred when the house was filled with people. Reeves' story is told in part in flashback as Simo, who is trying to make a name for himself with this case, talks to or tries to talk to some of the players involved, most specifically the wife of MGM General Manager E.J. Mannix, Toni Mannix, with who Reeves was having a relatively open and ... Written by
One of the best films this year. An Oscar for Diane Lane ?
I was blown away by 'Hollywoodland', and I really wasn't expecting to be. This is a rare film that is both intelligent and entertaining. It has comedy (not a lot!), powerful scenes, great acting and a compelling story.
The main elements are Brody's slimy detective trying to make a name for himself by uncovering what happened to Superman star George Reeves. At the same time we are treated to beautifully shot flashbacks of Affleck as Reeves and Diane Lane as his older girlfriend, who really pays for his lifestyle. The two story arcs work very well and weave smartly, never confusing the viewer. It is very cleverly done.
While Ben Affleck plays the central figure of George Reeves, it is Diane Lane and Adrien Brody who really take the lead roles. Affleck and Brody are superb, but Diane Lane is simply sublime as Toni Mannix, a beautiful but scorned woman who goes into a one-way meltdown.
Lane's heartbreaking performance is flawless and should get Oscar recognition.... So should Hollywoodland. 10/10.
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