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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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