Directed by Curtis Hanson
I kind of thought we were done with noirs, but the genre has really been cropping up a lot lately. I am certainly not complaining, as I have missed watching women make men do horrible things by asking them in throaty voices.
In the early fifties, three detectives investigate an unsolved murder. Detective Lieutenant Exley is trying to live up to his father's name, Detective White is willing to break the rules to get justice, and Detective Vincennes gets absorbed in the seedier sides of celebrity culture.
This film isn't Big Sleep complicated, but it is complicated enough that I struggled with the plot synopsis. I think the story could have done with some trimming, but I guess part of the noir appeal is to have plots with inexplicably confusing twists. Anyway, the acting was obviously phenomenal, as you have both Kevin Spacey and James Cromwell. Russell Crowe is about half as talented as he believes he is, which is still pretty good.
I loved the atmosphere in the film, although I did feel a strong urge to take a shower after it was over. Definitely worth a watch.
Kim Basinger turned down the role three times before finally accepting it.
The movie has 80 speaking parts.
Body count of 30.