Hollywoodland
“The Pianist” gets proof of Affleck “Going All the Way” with Mrs. “Unfaithful”.

Theatrical Release Date: 09/08/2006
Director: Allen Coulter
Cast: Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Robin Tunney

I’m a little surprised that it took me this long to get to this movie. For those of you that don’t know, it’s the based in the real life take of the people and circumstances surrounding the death of George Reeves.

The film is a dual storyline with a minor twist. What do I mean by that? You have a storyline following a private investigator looking into the death of Reeves (Brody), and another storyline showing the abbreviated view of Reeves’ career.

The filmmaking is adequate with the most impressive part being able to remain in period. Solid acting that you’d expect from such a cast. It’s a good movie through and through. This all points to a solid movie, but it’s not quite at the top end of the bell curve yet.

Why should it be on the high end of the curve? Ben Affleck. All the hype about his performance was dead on. He deserved his Golden Globe nomination. If Alan Arkin deserved an Oscar, then Affleck deserves something more because he was so much better.

Affleck’s portrayal of Reeves is by far the most powerful part of the movie. He showed the drive to make something of himself in the Hollywood of old. He showed the torment that came with being the face of what was essentially one of the first kiddie TV shows.

You honestly felt for him because he was typecast in a time that Hollywood was 100% dominated by studio mentality. There were no indie movies to use as a vehicle to get your credibility back. Affleck did an amazing job.

That’s a lot of sunshine I’m blowing. So this movie is at the higher end right? No, because the story has some problems. Throughout the movie, you’re shown the death scene depending on the stage of the investigation.

Three different scenes are shown, and it’s left up in the air which one is the actual manner of death that the writer/director wants the viewer to concentrate on. If you’re supposed to go with the last one, then there’s still a bunch of questions that the movie brings to light that then go unanswered.

It bothers me more and more.

Sure, this case in question was ruled a suicide. I guess I feel that if you’re going to rehash something like this from the past, do something with it to give the minor resemblance of resolve. I guess it’s a double-edged sword in this case.

If you pick a truly unresolved historical topic and present it true to life, then it’s going to remain unresolved. Take that same topic and go at it from a biased angle, then it’s most often going to distort historical realities. I’m not sure which one this was, or which one would have been better for this story.

In the end, this is a period, character driven movie with no resolve and no translatability to modern times. While there are great things about it, enough was wrong with it for me to only give it a 3 of 5. It’s worth seeing, but not more than once unless you have fantasies of Ben Affleck dressing up as Superman. You know who you are, and that’s shame enough.