Advented: day eight

On-going series, once a day until Christmas, offering as its treat a book, film, piece of music or other worthy experience. Check them out. It’s my gift to you.

Day eight – L.A. Confidential

Kim Basinger as her character in the filmI’ve got a bit of a thing for noire. I love how gloriously overblown it all is, that heady mix of forties/fifties glamour and modern crime. There are a lot of traditional noire films I could point you to (The Third Man is a good example) but my feeling is that you don’t need to head back to the days of black and white for a good film noire experience.

Set in the fifties, L.A. Confidential is an adaption of the book of the same name written by James Ellroy and follows three police officers as they investigate a case beginning with a multiple homicide in a diner. Hollywood, vice and corruption abound as they dig rather too far for comfort.

The film really sets itself apart by considering deeply the motivations and personalities of its characters: Kevin Spacey’s vapid (or is he?) vice detective, Russell Crowe’s thuggish and simple (or is he?) policeman partnered with Guy Pearce’s by-the-book (or is he?) newly-minted lieutenant.

Everything is suspect… everyone is for sale… and nothing is what it seems — so runs the film’s tagline anyway. One thing which is as it seems though is that L.A. Confidential is worthy of its place as day seven’s Advented gift.


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