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A burnished autumnal Los Angeles past, overacting middling talents gesticulating with half-empty bourbon glasses, cops making references to Ralph Meeker: yup, Allen Coulter’s Hollywoodland is another noirish Hollywood paean to itself disguised as a disillusioned attack on that hollow dream factory. Marshmallowy and mush-mouthed, Ben Affleck presides over this overwrought concept movie with the alacrity of a lottery winner, yet all the grace of a tipsy kangaroo. While we at Reverse Shot eagerly await next week’s Hollywood nightmare, De Palma’s The Black Dahlia—sure to outdo Allen Coulter’s unimaginative private dick drama shot for shot in the visual department, at least—we took a pit stop in Hollywoodland this week on indieWIRE. Consider it the iceberg-lettuce-and-thousand-island-dressing salad preceding De Palma’s filet mignon.

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While by no means fully good, there’s no reason to lather the hate too thick on this fairly innocuous Big Knife redux.
The Ralph Meeker thing did seem a bit forced, though.


some of us have already seen it….


And: If you want to talk about craptacular acting, you need look no further than Scarlett Johansson and her beau Josh. Scarlett, especially, makes Affleck look like Brando.


Yeah, umm, the DePalma ain’t great. At all. You totally came too fast. Stop RobbieFeeling yourself everytime his name is mentioned.

Alex Murillo

Perhaps it is the auterist slant that is inherent to most Reverse Shot writers (and that’s not meant as a criticism, just an observation), but isn’t it presumptious to assume that Brian De Palma’s upcoming film is going to be superior to “Hollywoodland”? I mean, isn’t it a critic’s duty to have an open mind when viewing a film, rather than letting who the director is influence their judgment of the film BEFORE seeing the film?

Granted, if I go to see a film by Brian De Palma (or Scorsese, or Spielberg, or anyone for that matter), I’m going to be prepared to view the film within the context of that director’s previous work. But I would never proclaim that a brilliant director’s latest work must be a “filet mignon” without having seen it.

Keith Uhlich

Ben Affleck… Best Actor at Venice!

Hopefully he’ll get drunk and drown in the canals.

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