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 whom Reeves was having a relatively open and ... Written by
I recently was lucky enough to get to go to a screening of this film followed by a Q&A with director Allen Coulter, stars Diane Lane and Adrien Brody; each one of which did a fantastic job in their most recent performances. Coulter's first foray into film is a very successful one. His abilities with the camera from his experience like The Sopranos is clear throughout and is very strong from the opening shot of LA as it swoops into the house as police enter the crime scene that is George Reeves home. The cinematography by Jonathan Freeman ("Rescue Me", "Taken") is very strong with a great contrast in shadows and a subtle yet noticeable difference between the two times shown in the film. Coulter also uses music and sound differences to establish the Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) and George Reeves (Ben Affleck) time lines as separated. The acting is all around amazing, Affleck and Brody take their characters and live them, both amazing. Affleck has a few moments where the Reeves voice seems to lapse slightly but it's nearly unnoticeable. Both near perfect performances and as for the rest of the cast, there is not a poor performance to be found in this film. Expect a SAG ensemble nomination here. The overall style of the film is very interesting. Coulter describes the film as a "film noir in the daytime" and a "film about a modern man." The story is beautifully told with a nicely flowing back and forth between George Reeves life up until his death and 'independent investigator' Simo's search for the truth about that fateful night. Overall the film gets a 9/10 from me because it was simply nearly flawless, I left the theater very happy for having seen it because I'm willing to predict that this film will get some mentions come award time.
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