20th anniversary of “L.A. Confidential” proves the neo-noir stands with the best.
“L.A. Confidential” garnered great reviews when it opened in 1997 and 20 years later, its place among the top tier of film noir is unquestioned. Filmmaker Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland adapted James Ellroy’s sprawling 496 pages and turned it into a shrewd 138-minute film. Their Oscar-winning screenplay truncates the 1950’s story, but never shortchanges character or suspense. Aided by a superb cast, including Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe, a topnotch Jerry Goldsmith score, and A+ production values, the film daringly tackled issues of race, corruption and police brutality. It’s as relevant today as it was in the pre-Civil Rights 1950’s or the post- O.J. 1990’s.