This was the best film made in '97 but like Polanski's "Chinatown" it is destined to become one of the finest movies NOT to take the Oscar home. Curtis Hanson took James Ellroy's novel, a book many doubted could be translated to the film medium, and co-wrote one of the finest adapted screenplays ever done. He then brought on board a couple of Aussie unknowns, a gorgeous star who had never lived up to her potential, maybe the finest actor working today, and began filming one of the darkest noir films of all time, in sun drenched daylight!
The end result is a dark and twisted tale of personal redemption told against the backdrop of the bright lights and sunshine of Hollywood in the early '50's. Hanson contrasts the brightly lit exteriors with the dark storyline of police corruption and Hollywood decadence. This is a movie about facade, not just Hollywood's but our own personal facade as well.
Russell Crowe became a star as LA Detective Bud White, a tough cop willing to do whatever is necessary, something the political up and comer Guy Pearce finds archaic about the force and wants to change. There is not a bad performance in this film. It is complex and riveting. If you haven't seen this before, don't rent it, buy it. You'll watch it over and over. But don't tell anyone-this is Off the Record, On the QT, and Very Hush Hush.