Saw the film earlier this evening. If you're a fan of Director Brian De Palma you'll likely love it. It's got many of his trademark elements:
staircases (kind of like 'The Untouchables' lite)
a Hitchcock blonde
someone in drag
and a final jolt
If you're drawn to it because of the sensational murder mystery it's named for....who knows. Without giving anything away, this film has many laughs (who knew?!), great production design and alot going for it. Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart both look great as boxers turned LAPD cops. Scarlett Johansson is like the love child of Lana Turner and Madonna here. And
2-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank is really something, she plays Madeleine Linscott a fantastic hybrid of Lauren Bacall's Vivian and her sister Carmen from 'The Big Sleep' blended with 'Chinatown's Evelyn Cross Mulwray. Trouble from every angle but with a great wardrobe.
The scene stealer here is Fiona Shaw as her mother Ramona. Everyone was talking about her as we exited the theatre.
There always seems to be a certain level De Palma hits when there's unintentional laughter heard, it happens here, but nowhere near as much as with his last film, the ridiculous 'Femme Fatale'.
This film comes from author James Ellroy's take on the famous case, very dark stuff and it's definitely not for kids.
THE BLACK DAHLIA from Universal Pictures
opens nationwide Friday September 15
MPAA rating: R
Running time -- 121 minutes