HOLLYWOODLAND: SOMETHING IS MISSING IN TINSELTOWN
Hollywoodland is the story of the mystery behind George Reeves death in the summer of 1959. Reeves was television’s Superman. The story covers the possibility of his death being a homicide as opposed to the determined suicide. It is a crime drama that is missing that certain something to pull you in.
It is June 16, 1959. George Reeves (Ben Affleck) has been found dead by a gunshot wound. It is classified as a suicide. Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) is hired by Reeves’ mother to investigate his death. She feels he was murdered. Simo is a sleazy private investigator that operates out of a motel. He has a son who takes Superman’s death very hard. Simo uncovers Reeves affair with Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), the wife of Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins), the general manager at MGM. Toni bought and did everything for Reeves, except help his career. Reeves tries and fails to become a big name in Hollywood. He eventually leaves Mannix and becomes engaged to trashy Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney). Simo looks into Toni, Eddie, and Leonore as possible murderers. He is discouraged in more ways than one along the way.
The story takes its plot straight from Hollywood history. Reeves starts with a role in Gone with the Wind, ends up shot in his home. It shows Reeves rise as Superman. It shows how the role that made his famous prevented him from doing anything else. The pacing is slow. It is hard to care for the characters. The acting is average, even with talented players. Diane Lane stands out as Toni Mannix, the neglected wife of Eddie. You see her getting older and trying to cling onto George. The costumes and scenery backup the somber tone of the movie with dark and muted colors. The makeup shows Toni Mannix’s aging well.
There is a missing element that is needed to make you truly care for the characters. It is hard to identify with them. Ben Affleck as Reeves is good but not good enough.
You find yourself looking for something that isn’t there in Hollywoodland. It tells the sad story of the death of Superman’s George Reeves. It shows the dark side of Hollywood.