Hollywoodland (2006)

(In theaters, November 2006) As historical Hollywood crime dramas go, this one doesn’t have the insane pyrotechnics of The Black Dahlia, but it may be just a bit better in the end. Certainly, it’s a slog to make it to the conclusion: Taking place on an intimate scale, this examination of George Reeves’ mysterious death isn’t particularly fast-paced, nor rich in dramatic action. On the other hand, the look at the life of TV’s first Superman is full of details, and even compassion for the characters. But what truly makes the film, beyond a number of solid performances (and yet another proof that Diane Lane get sexier with age) is the conclusion, which wisely presents no explicit explanation to the mystery of Reeves’ death, but does tip the scale toward an explanation that negates this film as an investigation. Gutsy move, and one that makes this film rank reasonably high on the historical accuracy charts. A generally solid, unpretentious film.

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