Another title on the Favorites list
memento_mori - wrote on 07/07/13
'I wouldn't trade places with Edmund Exley right now for all the whiskey in Ireland.'
I'll say it: The movie is fantastic. It does everything correctly.
The story is about police corruption and investigation in the fifties, centering around three characters played by Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Guy Pearce respectively.
It's a very delicate topic, and can be done wrong easily, but here it succeeds with a passion.
I don't know where to begin. The acting of the trio is Oscar-worthy, and some of the dialogue they jump back and forth with is incredible. At times I believed that everything was natural and unscripted. This brilliant collection of actors just really knows how to read lines and make them seem authentic.
To me, the most important trait of this film is the group of characters. They have to work their way around a mystery and meet up in the end, which means the actors are needed here as well.
I can't decide which performance stands out more. They just work awesomely off one another, making it hard not to like the well-written characters and the story more; I just wish Guy Pearce would star in something big nowadays, but whatever he is in (The Hurt Locker, The King's Speech, Prometheus) he does a good job.
In terms of story, this movie went deeper than I expected it to go. You never get bored, it always has you on the literary hook. The script is almost flawless, I wouldn't know how to improve it. It's large and full, but never convoluted or difficult to follow. Either way, I do recommend you see it twice.
I keep on praising the characters, but they really are the bright light of this movie. Every character is so developed, that you understand why they are so ambitious to uncover the case. Even the things they do reflect their wants and needs.
The pacing is also very fluid. Nothing feels out of place, thanks to the brilliant editing and direction of Curtis Hanson.
This is another one of those gems among coals. It is an excellent whirl of the fifties, neo-noir, human ambition, police corruption and tabloid journalism, and as soon as it was over, I wanted to see it again.