7 months ago
Everything is suspect...everyone is for sale...and nothing is what it seems.
Both the film noir and neo-noir genres have been around for what feels like ages. From Double Indemnity (1944) to Out of the Past (1947), The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and from The Long Goodbye (1973) to Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001), it’s safe to say that there were many classic films made in the genre. Whether you’re looking for a suspenseful thrill, in the mood for often-times legendary acting prowess, or need of a film to watch after-hours, the genre has a grand feast of movies to feast upon. However, sadly, in the 1990s, I feel the classic form of the film noir genre as we know and love it was on the verge of extinction from the modern film industry. Why do I tell you this? Well, my friends, it’s rather simple: L.A. Confidential (1997) is the last great classic film noir, but is certainly not the last great neo-noir film by any stretch of the imagination. The brainchild of Academy Award-winning director Curtis Hanson, this film is smart, cunning, and downright tuff. On top of all this is an ensemble all-star cast that give the performances of a lifetime and a dramatic, clever script exudes toughness. Frankly, it’s one of the greatest screenplays of the 1990s. This is not your typical “good cop, bad cop” drama. Oh no. This film boils down to issues of racism, social justice and injustice and moral ethics in a non-discriminatory way. It overarchingly shows a side of Los Angeles most people don’t get to see. One that is corrupt, with shady dealings. Noteworthy character development and a tremendous dramatic tension in nearly every scene enthralls the viewer in this movie’s spell. The story is intriguing and marvelously nuanced. It makes you think. It’s expertly shot, with many angles reminiscent of the film-noir of the 1950s. Unfortunately, back in 1997, the chances of this phenomenal film garnering any real awards, being that the nation was utterly swept by the gigantic, legendary blockbuster Titanic. Though I can’t deny Titanic’s mainstay and timeless status in cinematic history, I feel L.A. Confidential deserved to be recognize as an Academy Award-winner for Best Picture, and frankly, folks, it still deserves to be recognized for its outstanding, admirable qualities. But, I digress. Regardless, L.A Confidential is, as you can tell, definitely one of the greatest films of the 90s and likely one of the finest films ever made.