Seamus Smith 08/11/2008
In 1950s Los Angeles, three cops with very different styles, try solving a multiple homicide. Along the way, they face off against each other, as well as the corruption that runs rampant in the City of Angels.
The screen adaptation by Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland (Payback), beautifully translates a very complex multi-layered story, based on the crime novel by James Ellroy. The characterization is very strong, the dialogue is razor-sharp, and the plot structure is intricate, but aptly realized. The two men won an Academy Award for their efforts.
Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys) directs this cop story with bullet precision; pulling great performances out of his actors, across the board. The cinematography by Dante Spinotti and the production design by Jeannine Oppewall, brings vibrant life to the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown of yesteryear.
L.A. Confidential provides three wonderfully developed and complex leads. Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) is sly and witty as “Hollywood Jack” Vincennes. Russell Crowe (Gladiator) is a boilermaker ready to explode as Officer “Bud” White. And fellow Australian, Guy Pearce (Memento) plays Lt. Ed Exley-- the film’s moral backbone with unbreakable resolve. All three characters have a strong arch: Vincennes grows a conscience, White learns to use his head before his hands, and book smart Exley becomes a hero with a gun.
The supporting group of actors, are all top-notch. Kim Basinger (The Door in the Floor) gives perhaps the finest performance of her career, as the “hooker with a heart of gold.” She plays what is normally a stock character, found in many noir stories, with intelligence and grace -- taking home an Oscar for it. British actor, James Cromwell (Babe) is solid as the Irish chief of police who doesn’t mind bending the law to serve his criminal needs. David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) is wonderfully sleazy as a porn producer and pimp. And as an unscrupulous, backstabbing tabloid publisher, DeVito (TV’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) gives one of the best performances in his long career.
With every department delivering on all cylinders, L.A. Confidential stands out as a timeless, masterfully crafted work of modern cinema.
L.A. Confidential won 2 Oscars: Best Supporting Actress (Kim Bassinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was nominated 7 additional Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
2-Disc, Blu-ray and Bonus CD Soundtrack.
Director Curtis Hanson and a terrific cast serve up a "thrilling tale of police corruption and Hollywood glamour" (Marshall Fine, Gannett Newspapers) in this film of James Ellroy's novel. Three cops (Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce), a call girl (Kim Basinger), a mysterious millionaire (David Strathairn), a tabloid journalist (Danny DeVito) and the Chief of Detectives (James Cromwell) fuel a plot rife with mystery, ambition, romance and humor. The film captured 1997 Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson).
- Starring: Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, David Strathairn
- Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Number of Discs: 1
- Rating: R
- Label: Warner Studios
- Release Date: 09/23/2008
- Run Time: 138 minutes
- Catalogue #: 1000025053
- Audio Commentary
- Making Of L.A. Confidential
- Sunlight And Shadows: The Visual Style Of L.A. Confidential
- The Cast Of L.A. Confidential
- L.A. Confidential: From Book To Screen
- L.A. Confidential TV Series Pilot
- Vintage Cast/Creator Interviews
- Director Curtis Hanson's Photo Pitch
- The L.A. Of L.A. Confidential Interactive Map Tour
- Music Only Track Showcasing Jerry Goldsmith's Score