L.A. Confidential

IMG_20141109_114057“The story of a city of angels that has literally fallen!”

This movie from 1997 is based on the cult novel by James Ellroy, which was thought to be un-filmable. It was produced and directed by Curtis Hanson. Hanson had read half a dozen of Ellroy’s books before L.A. Confidential and was drawn to its characters, not the plot. He said: “What hooked me on them was that I didn’t like them, but as I met them, one after one, I started to care about them.” Ellroy’s novel also made Hanson think about Los Angeles and provided him with an opportunity to set a movie at a point in time when the whole dream of Los Angeles, from that apparently golden era of the ’20s and ’30s, was being bulldozed.”

We follow a group of police officers, who represent the choices ahead for the LAPD. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), star-struck, lives for his job as police adviser to a television show. Bud White (Russel Crowe) is an aggressive young cop who is willing to accommodate the department’s relaxed ethics. Ed Exley (Guy Pierce) is a straight arrow but will do anyhing for his own advancement. It’s a story about private and professional ethic and to what extent corruption will be tolerated. There might be small harm in free booze and a little wheeling and dealing, but there are some things a police officer cannot do and look himself in the mirror in the morning.

But it is also a film about the evolution of Los Angeles to a city of evil and glamour with a dirty little secret between every palm tree. We meet a cross section of Los Angeles population. The different social types show how crime has become a matter of economic growth, contributed to as much by the upper classes as those trapped by the cycle of poverty and crime.

“Don’t start trying to do the right thing, ¬†boy-o”, a police officer tells one of his men. “You haven’t had the practice.”

Anything else? Yes, the film is gorgeous!

 

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