An unsettling, bizarre, and sometimes compelling spiral into a very specific Hollywood nightmare. The uneven performances add to the nightmarish feeling of the film, even though at times they are a little frustrating. I feel like I need to see this film several more times before I can fully process my feelings toward it.
Upon several viewings, The Black Dahlia remains a great, perhaps misunderstood, film. Some of the best directing Brian DePalma ever did is here. It's undeniable that the complexity of Elroy's novel is not accurately mirrored in the silver screen, but then again we're talking about different mediums. And Vilmos Zsigmond is astonishing, capturing in color all of noir's nuances, depth and subtleties.
If it you didn't know it already, you could tell that this was a 3 hour movie cruelly hacked down to 2. I can see why a studio would balk at an epic length, but it's a shame, because it means that some very intriguing ideas about cinema's complicity in violence (and the joy of watching De Palma rewire noir tropes) gets buried under a rushed jumble of names, coincidences, and twists that make little or no sense.
Surprisingly dull for a De Palma joint, as I usually love his stuff. Sometimes he just goes overtly meta, I guess. The main reason for my disliking is the pulpy faux-fifties noir editing, which bores me and has stood the last ten years really badly. Plotwise its messy and the twist comes way too abruptly, even though the ending is the best part. I hear the original cut was an hour longer, which explains a lot.
After the late 50s it became impossible to make an authentic film noir and even De Palma merely created a pastiche. Its "messiness" proves this is just an artificial try at a genre De Palma surely is passionate about. On the other hand: Hilary Swank made me forget her boy-ish roles and made me bite my lip. A lot. She's steaming hot.
Ricalca le atmosfere di Chinatown,ma non c'è Polanski e nemmeno Jack e quindi il risultato è lontano anni-luce.De Palma cerca di tenere su un fiacchissimo noir,scritto in maniera prolissa,didascalica e noiosa e con prove attoriali ai limiti del decente(non so come si faccia a dare una parte da protagonista a Hartnett).Dovrebbe raccontare Hollywood ma non lo fa mai,e si trascina davvero stancamente al finale...stecca.
Not as bad as I was expecting, but also really just not very good. Not so much confusing as just weirdly connecting disparate parts that didn't need connecting. Is it an homage or deconstruction? Because we know that 1940's L.A. couldn't have looked like this, so the stylisation only serves to create a constructed facade that's difficult to penetrate. One classic De Palma death on the staircase though.
Visually beautiful, wholly devoid of emotion, over complicated, disappointing. I wasn't surprised that the story had been written by the author of LA Confidential as there is a similar feel, yet you are not drawn to the characters in the same way. Stylish work that just missed the mark, maybe because it felt like it had been done before. The murdered girl was compelling. Beautiful colours.