l.a. confidential vs chinatown? noooo contest.

actually, i saw chinatown several weeks ago as the first film in my 'art of film' course, and while the similarities to la confidential are obvious if only for the film noir genre, i really enjoyed la confidential much more. so many more characters, all expertly drawn and expertly cast, and i found it to be much more active and engaging than the more laid-back chinatown. i was on the edge of my seat the entire time. but that's just personal preference, i guess.

anyway, i easily pick la confidential as my fave of the year so far, beating out contact (hey, gotta love jodie and the cheese and the effects). i can't find a single thing wrong with this flick. there was never a dull moment. one of the things that really stuck out to me aside from the stellar ensemble cast was the incredibly production/set design - wow! flawless, right down to the clutter of the offices in the precinct and the high-class seediness of the bar with, uh, lana turner (that scene was priceless) and (yeah, it's technically makeup) kim basinger's lipstick. by the way, let's toss basinger right back up on my 'you are a goddess' list - kim, i forgive you for marrying scary alec baldwin and making the getaway. kudos as well to aussies crowe and pearce (interesting factoid that i, in my psychotic quest to be the walking imdb, picked up while watching a tree grows in brooklyn last night for class: there was another guy pearce who was a makeup artist on many films in the 1940s) for being consummate 1950s era american-as-apple-pie coppers, with the accents to match. i've seen crowe in several productions, including the wonderful film *cough* virtuosity (russell, i forgive you too); hadn't seen pearce, he gets the erin's kick out newcomer award.

this is a sure oscar contender not only for adapted screenplay, but set design, original score (i loved both the score and the songs), picture, director, and acting. my only question is how the studio will choose to place the actors; i'd pick russell crowe and guy pearce for lead and kevin spacey for supporting (which, although the oscar contender season is young, it would seem he has wrapped up for the second time in three years; but i'm willing to recant in the months to come). possibly even kim basinger in the supporting actress category, although that will probably depend upon how strong the field is (claire danes for u-turn? i think she has about as little/much screentime as basinger does here, plus the added visibility of the rainmaker. but i'll save that for another day). the nomination of the two leads is also dependent upon that, but i can't see how one could be nom'd and not the other. and, hey, can the mother of the dead prostitute with the, uh, 'rodents' under her house get a special award for being extremely bizarre? okay, thanks. ..arg. i can't wait to go back and see this film again. and again. and maybe again. delicious.

Sat Sep 20 04:22:51 EDT 1997

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