James Ellroy still doesn’t like the movie of his novel, L A Confidential

L A Confidential
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Lots of people love the 1997 movie L A Confidential. The author of the book it’s based on – James Ellroy – is very much is not one of them.

Had it not been for the raging success of James Cameron’s Titanic, it’s a fair bet that the late Curtis Hanson’s film of James Ellroy’s novel L A Confidential would have netted far more Academy Awards than it ultimately went home with. Appreciating that the Oscars are no gold standard of a great movie, they’re still a decent indicator, and gongs were duly awarded to Kim Basinger, and for Hanson and Brian Helgeland for their screenplay. Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito also starred in the movie.

Yet the book’s author, James Ellroy, has never been easy with the film, and has been one of its most notable critics. And with Hanson having passed back in 2016, he’s generally stepped away from chatting about it. Yet in a new interview with Michael Connelly, he’s now openly admitted that while “people love the movie … I think it’s turkey of the highest form”.

He added that “I think Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger are impotent. The director died, so now I can disparage the movie”.

And he has. He’s done this before, just not quite so overtly. But it was always clear that he and Curtis Hanson saw the material slightly differently.

Ellroy was picking up an award at the L A Times Festival Of Books, the reason for the latest chat. It’s a fair bet he didn’t go home afterwards and watch a DVD of L A Confidential. A smashing film, mind. One of the best of the 1990s…

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