The Black Dahlia
Brian DePalma directs “The Black Dahlia” based on a novel based on the unsolved mystery of a young actress’ murder in the 1950s. In true DePalma form it’s dark and twisty and the characters have a lot of depth. Josh Hartnett stars as the detective/boxer who takes on the case with his obsessed partner, Aaron Eckhardt. Scarlett Johanssen makes up a love triangle between them as a former mobster mol in hiding. The whole film is very stylish – loved the music, the sets, the costumes, the hair – the story is just difficult to follow. Performances are strong despite the stilted dialogue. Hilary Swank comes in as the “femme fatale” but something about her didn’t ring true for me. She’s too good to be bad, or is she just crazy? And they keep saying how much she looks like “the dead girl” and I didn’t see any resemblance! The pacing is good, the characters rich, but there’s a lot of confusion and “over-the-top” scenarios. The ending is just convoluted and silly. A strong R rating, just for mature audiences.