Hollywood used to be known as “Hollywoodland” before it was edited down. The movie “Hollywoodland” could have used the same editor – had it been shortened by about a third it would have been a much better movie.
The story, about the unsolved mystery of George Reeve’s death, is compelling. Lots of rich characters, and a very film noir feel which is cool given the time period. Ben Affleck stars as George Reeves, best known as TV’s first Superman. This is definitely a departure from the kinds of roles that he usually plays, and he worked pretty hard to set himself apart here. I think it’s difficult for an actor to play another actor, but Affleck did a pretty good job. Diane Lane is so gorgeous and glamorous, and her performance is heart-wrenching. Bob Hoskins is wonderful – he steals every scene he’s in. Adrien Brody plays the private investigator who is hired to work the case, and I felt he overacted. His strokes were very broad, very cliche.
I liked the way the story was told part in flashbacks as the clues build up and we start to piece together what might have happened. But ultimately, the pace was way too slow. Hollywood clocked in at just two hours, but it felt much longer. And since the mystery is unsolved, the ending leaves us hanging. Adrien Brody has a character arc, but it resolves much too quickly at the end. I was disappointed. This is one movie I was really looking forward to from the previews and it didn’t live up to my expectations. It was just okay.