L.A. Confidential Film Details
Overview: As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen – one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy – investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
Tagline: Everything is suspect… Everyone is for sale… And nothing is what it seems.
Review: Truly, one of the greatest mistake the Academy has made is not awarding this film the Best Picture award. For months, I argued that while “Titanic” was a nice spectacle with great special effects, the script, the directing and the acting was all rather mediocre. However, here we have “L.A. Confidential.” Perfection in script. Perfection in directing. Perfection in cast. Obviously, because Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kevin Spacey all gave Oscar worthy performances, the voting was split, and therefore, none got enough votes for a nomination. Crowe gave an invigorating performance and Bud White, a man who knows that he is not very smart and has instead relied on pure brawn all his life. But as the film progresses, you watch him yearn to put his strength aside and become self-reliant, instead of being purely muscle for the cause of justice, which has become obscured as he has had to resort to violent and debatably immoral method to preserve peace in Los Angeles. And yet, while he does make us question whether he is going to end up on the side of good or evil by the end of the film uncertain, we do empathize enough with him to hope that he does redeem himself by the end. Pearce delivers Ed Exley as a man who is wholly set on the purest means of justice. While he follows his father into the same profession, his goals are unique; to uphold the law without having to bend or break it. And yet, his good aspiration are certainly out of place in the corrupt organization of the police of that time. He slowly becomes drawn into the graft. He becomes glory-hungry, pulling whatever strings he has to in order to be promoted or be seen in a good light by the press. And yet, he does begin to find himself giving into exactly the cause he fought against. And so, throughout the film, he struggles to overcome the instinctive nature of man to achieve power and glory. He has to be a better man than that. And so, the audience can quickly see the nobility in that. He is not perfect. But at least he tries to be. And probably the best performance in the film comes from Spacey. Here we see what Exley might have become in a few years if he wasn’t careful. Jack Vincennes has succumb to the call of money and celebrity status. He does not care in the least about duty or about justice. It’s all become simply a matter of vanity. And yet, he begins to see through his own fault. Spacey’s performance is undoubtable the best, because he is one of those actors who doesn’t have to try to communicate his emotions in order to communicate them (or, at least, he is good enough not to show the strings). I had to watch this film several times to really take in the impact of his role, and fully absorb his character. His key moments within the middle of the film are absolutely unforgettable. When he stares into the mirror of the bar after receiving the hundred dollar bill, that scene is a turning point for the character. And he was able to convey the message of that scene without saying a thing. And also, when asked why he became a cop, the delivery of that next line, just that, was Oscar worthy on its own. Even aside from those three performances, it would have been totally respectable if James Cromwell or Danny DeVito had received a nomination. Truly, this film had one of the greatest ensemble casts ever captured on screen.
Duration: 138 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
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