Superb combination of a captivating detective adventure and a piece of art in which political and financial powers are exposed for the viewer to witness. The style of this film is amazing as well. As the film progresses the story and atmosphere becomes increasingly bizarre, climaxing in a beautiful ending. Fantastic film.
A modern film noir that looks, sounds and plays out as a perfect movie with it's top-notch script, excellent cast and beautiful imagery that is a big contract to the gruesome twists and shocks that appear throughout the movie. Sadly, it was not possible for two films to win Academy Award for Best Picture as this one ties with "The Godfather, Part II" in perfection.
Intricately plotted, and practically perfect in every way. The atmosphere is ominous throughout and the whole damn thing just gets more intriguing and depressing with each subsequent viewing. One for the ages; the powers that be are unbeatable and by the time we realize that it will all be too late.
I didn't enjoy this film as much as the rating should seem to indicate. They make so many movies out in California with California settings and California people, and I don't relate to the West Coast thing. It's that laid back vibe that I hate. And all the phoniness. "Forget it, Jake" just typifies the whole attitude.
Brilliant screenplay from Robert Towne and stellar acting, Chinatown is by far Polanski´s best feature. Los Angeles is the perfect place for a neo-noir full of violence, corruption and incest. Between the smiles, the villas and the wealthy gentlemen, you will find a lot of dirt. Polanski´s controled and subtil direction is not spectacular but nontheless amazing. Andersen was right : L.A. plays itself.
This strange and appealing mixture of earnestness and play, of its almost realistic stretches and its use of gender tropes, added to detailed design and open (as opposed to definable) performances - Jack Nicholson has finally grown on me - and elegant camerawork makes this a quite compelling movie, idealistic and cynical at once, that seems to be quite happily free of the 'classic' aura of many movies of its time
4.5 stars. You don't need to separate the art from the artist here as Towne's, Alonzo's, Goldsmith's, Nicholson's and Dunaway's work is all so blisteringly good that, even without Polanski's craftmanship, they collaberatively produce a fine, fierce vision of corruption and the loss of hope and goodness.