Sunday, February 1, 2009

L.A. Confidential. A-

Guy Pierce plays Ed Exley one of three cops (the other two are Bud White, played by Russell Crowe and Jack Vincennes-Kevin Spacey) who are investigating several murders that have taken place at a small diner called the Nite Owl. One of the things I loved about this movie is that it hides the fact that Ed Exley is the true hero, not some corrupt member of the LAPD. We are supposed to think that all three of these cops are going to lose some way or another because we are confronted with their problems near the beginning. (Bud has a violent temper and makes bad choices, Jack deals with people who are on the wrong side of town, and Ed is a smart, prime, and perfect little cop who makes everybody angry) The plot feels confusing at times, but it really is pretty simple. Another major character is a hooker, Lynn Brakcen, who has been glossed over by Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn) to look like a movie star. White gets romantically involved with her after he finds out that she is associated with one of the victims at the Nite Owl. L.A Confidential,' directed by Curtis Hanson, is a a near perfect movie. While the script, cinematography, music, and costumes all dazzle, the film also gives us a portrait of police corruption in the 1950s, and its link with the show business. One thing I did not like was the character Dudley Smith, played by James Cromwell. I always associate Cromwell as friendly, kind old man in movies. Think, 'Babe' and 'The Queen.' but here he is far from kind, and it made me feel a little uncomfortable, though his overall performance does not disappoint. Neither does the movie.

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