Hollywoodland (2006)

ALLEN COULTER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 2006.  Focus Features, Miramax, Back Lot Pictures.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Another sordid tale from the treasure trove of Hollywood scandals: the mysterious death of television’s Superman, George Reeves, is examined in this unenergetic but engrossing drama. , incomprehensibly mumbling for two hours, overplays a down-and-out private investigator who is hired by Reeves’s mother () when her son’s headline death is passed off as mere suicide by the authorities. Brody at first only looks into the matter because there’s a pay cheque involved, but mounting evidence begins to suggest that the old lady might not be crazy, that there might actually be foul play involved. Between scenes of his detective work we flash back to Reeves (played by a surprisingly magnificent  in a fake nose) and his relationship with Toni Mannix (), wife to MGM bigwig Eddie Mannix (). Reeves had ambitions as a serious actor that were never realized beyond his fame as the television superhero, something that might have been affected by his relationship with Mannix and his eventually leaving her for the much younger Leonore Lemmon (). There’s a lot of rich historical information in the film, but it moves at a snail’s pace and doesn’t get enough relish out of overturning scandal stones to examine their mossy undersides.

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Supporting Actor (Ben Affleck)

Venice Film Festival Award:  Best Actor (Ben Affleck)

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