The movie - noir “Secrets of Los - Andzheles“. Classical style with the Australian shade?
Eh, if not “Titanic“. No, I do not argue, all of us, and your obedient servant including, tremblingly looked as the milliard cloth of James Cameron systematically wins quite deserved “Oscars“. I will remind that the blockbuster did not manage to surpass achievement of a tape of Uayler “Ben Gur“ (1959) which half a century back from 12 nominations received 11 awards. Only to repeat.
Maiden tears under a snotty shmyganye of Kate Winslet “Jack were not for nothing shed? Jack?.“ But it is enough about winners. Let`s talk about losers.
Leave Curtice Hanson`s picture a year before or later, and “The English patient“, especially muffled “Shakespeare In love“ could compete with the brilliant screen version of the novel of James Ellroy as equals. Hanson was simply not lucky: 9 nominations and only 2 figurines, one of which (the best female role of the second plan - Kim Besinger) film fans challenge still. A sad result for the director whose career sharply began to decline, and the writer whose works though are still picturized, but already with much smaller success.
To be fair we will notice that according to data of the American website IMDb “Secrets of Los - Andzheles“ are on 70 - m the place of the list of the best movies of all times and the people whereas Cameron`s opus there did not even get (the cumulative rating is calculated on number of votes and points). Domestic “Kinopoisk“ stands up that among Russians “Titanic“ is much more popular (42 - e the place against 181 - go). Result, by the way, strange because the blockbuster, universal on sense, about crash of the notorious vessel is so close to us, as well as history about two Californian police middle 50 - x. But Let it pass, each to their own, and we will pass to a plot of this magnificent detective.
… The officer Bud Whyte (Russell Crowe) and the detective - the lieutenant Ad Eksli (Guy Pearce) is united by a common problem - heightened sense of justice. Whyte - loutish, bydlovaty, but very abrupt kopek. Its credo - “At first Hook, then questions“. Owing to the heavy childhood, Bud hates the yokels beating women and is an executive, but rather stupid employee. Its antipode of Eksli - the young careerist, the son of the cop who died at execution. Feebleness does not stir Eksli in advance on an office ladder. He is acute, cunning and hates corruption in bodies. Eksli will put the comrade in arms rather, than will allow that to bypass the law.
Los - Andzheles 50 - x. The famous gangster Mickey Cohen goes to jail from - for failures to pay taxes. His accomplices, without having managed to recover and divide the city between himself, become object of hunting from unknown. Mountains of corpses, heroin and the shocking headings in the press. The rigid and ruthless police captain Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) brings a feasible contribution in cleaning of the homeland, violently forcing visitors of outcasts to go back home. Its methods are not pleasant to anybody, but so far they work, all habitually close eyes.
The situation becomes complicated when as a result of massacre in the institution “Night Owl“ the former workmate of Bud, the well-fad and ill-bred cop Dick Stens perishes. Business is quickly opened without delay, having written off cruel murder for Blacks - addicts which are shot subsequently. But also Whyte, and Eksli are sure that Stens died not incidentally. Someone moved away him purposefully, covering up tracks. One by one detectives begin own investigation, without assuming yet that as a result they should work in common, despite of last and future offenses because the enemy is strong, dangerous and prisoners does not take …
Hanson visually showed that the genre “noir“ is live and still in the price. Without having near at hand Humphrey Bogart, the American invited two little-known Australian performers in Hollywood in the project: Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. Both actors for several years “vegetated“ at Factory of stars. Crowe was interrupted by roles in second-grade fighters and thrillers, like “Virtuosity“ or “Fast and dead“ whereas Pearce was drawn towards melodramas more (“They were changed bodies“) and to comedies (“Priscilla`s adventures, the queen of the desert“).
Certainly, producers were delighted not with Hanson`s desire to rely on a tandem of obscure Australians. The project and without it promised to become a splinter in a heel. Timing - nearly two and a half hours. 80 roles with the text. Huge investments in a reconstruction on the screen of an era 50 - x, beginning from scenery and finishing with suits. Few times the studio tried “to boot off“ the screen version on television, but as a result was decided to place in a shot a two-three of the real stars. Among the last - Kevin Spacey who was already advanced to become famous at the thriller “Seven“ and the judicial drama “Time to Kill“. And also sex - a symbol 80 - x Kim Besinger to which in the 44 years offered a role of the thirty-year-old elite prostitute, and the joker Danny De Vito to which after the Ominous Penguin in the sequel of “Batman“ it was resolute all the same.
The movie, as well as Ellroy`s book, being a fiction, lives in the world of the real facts and events. Famous successor Bagsi Sigela Mickey Cohen; the corrupted police officers who arranged “Bloody Christmas“ in own site; the special group of cops arranging a dressing down to all visitors to criminals. All this was actually. Threads of real life are interwoven into the invented plot that gives Hanson`s picture still big credibility.
Most of all disputes and a gossip caused desire of the director to invite to the key female role which was a little drawn Kim Besinger. Times when the actress burned down with napalm from the screen, already passed, she slowly trained for a new profession on less provocative tapes, generally thrillers and fighters with an easy erotic bias (“Final analysis“, “Escape“). Studio bosses were categorically incited against its candidate especially as there was an age difference. And not in advantage Besinger. But Hanson insisted on the and provided to the spouse of Alec Baldwin of that time the first and most likely the last Oscar in her career. Which - who considers to this day that this award is undeserved, and on the place Kim had to appear or Julianne Moore (“Nights in style Bug“), or Minnie Drayver (“the Clear head Will Hunting“). But only one scene with crying in the rain Kim thrusts all faultfinders into the known place.
The main advantage “Secrets of Los - Andzheles“ that they inhaled life in a classical genre of the American film industry. Hollywood presents to present generation of the audience a heap of remakes and sequels, a mash from latex superheroes, the rattling iron of robots, romantic snivels and pathos speeches. But there was “The Maltese falcon“. “The lost Wick - and“. “The mail carrier calls twice“. “The Chinese quarter“, at last. Chandler, Hammett, Vulrich`s era. It is quite explainable that over the ocean Hanson`s picture was accepted more cool, than in the homeland. At all popularity of “noir“ in Europe, this style was invented by Americans, and the, as they say, does not smell.
James Ellroy`s works continue to inspire cinematographers. According to his stories the rigid criminal tapes “Damned Season“ (2002) with Curt Russell and “Kings of streets“ (2008) with Keanu Reeves are removed. Only once Hollywood tried to enter the same river, having taken as a basis the first novel from “los - an andzhelessky quartet“ the writer - “A black dahlia“. But, alas, despite strong professionalism of Brian de Palma, a tape of 2006 “The black orchid“ (also do not ask why so translated) with Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson`s participation became real disappointment. And if not the Sins of the city of Robert Rodriguez, then “noir“ would wither in oblivion again. But it already another story altogether.