Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010

L.A. Confidential (1997)
#1 on my Top 100 List
I've been saving the best for last! This, like Chinatown, is a neo-noir - taking the elements of traditional Film Noir, it spins them with color and the brightness of 90s cinema. Everything here is perfectly done. The writers took James Ellroy's epic novel and pared it down to a manageable length while retaining the important events (Bloody Christmas, the Nite Owl killings, the assassinations of Mickey Cohen's henchment) and the intense focus on character. Three cops with vastly different backgrounds and philosophies on their job are forced through intrigue and circumstance to work together to bring down LA's organized crime. The writing is fantastic, the production design of post-war Los Angeles blows my mind (plus there is the fact that it's about LA, which is my favorite city), and everyone in the film (from first-billed Kevin Spacey on down) is fantastic. I love that I still see and understand new things every time I watch this, though by now I must have seen it ten times or more. I love that there is such attention to detail. I loved, when I lived in Los Angeles, finding places that appear in the movie like the Frolic Room or the Formosa that are still there. And I love when Bud White cocks that shotgun one-handed.
My Netflix rating: 5 stars

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