Ben Affleck's performance in Hollywoodland received big buzz. He portrays George Reeves, the actor who played the popular Superman (the first one).
It's a film-noir piece that details Reeves' trajectory to fame, which spikes quickly once meeting Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), wife of MGM head Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins). The film delves into the myth surrounding Reeves' death. Was it really suicide or was it a murder? If it was murder, who did it and why? Private investigator Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) turns a scrap and uncovers a meaty dish of conspiracies and cover-ups. While Brody delivers in his role, his character has a few issues. First, his hair. For a noir film, he is decades early with that spiked hair. Second, Simo's sub-plot--he's a lousy dad and his son is, you guessed it, a HUGE fan of Superman) gets too much screen time. As usual, Lane shines. Her character falls hard for Reeves and helps establish his career, due to the unique relationship with her husband. Despite the great acting, the story is flat and the plot points don't string well together.
I'm unfamiliar with George Reeves, so I cannot comment on Affleck's portrayal. Based on reviews he received, I'm certain he was spot-on but nonetheless--I wasn't fond of Reeves character. The theories presented are interesting but conclusions are lackluster. The most captivating aspect of the film is how popular Superman and the show became. Boys would run inside to turn on the television in time to watch their anticipated show. However, the young fans responsible for his enormous fame weren't enough for Reeves. He desired real acting cred, but he never made it as big in any other role.His fans were devastated when Reeves died.
Director: Allen Coulter
Minutes: 125 minutes