Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: L.A. Confidential Style


I hate the fact that I tell myself every week (that Nate does this) that I'm going to participate and then I forget about it until he's already posted that great big list of participated 'shots' and I realize I fell asleep on the job and will not be able to make up that lost time...that week.  When he posted a reminded yesterday that TODAY was the deadline for his Hit Me With Your Best Shot...L.A. Confidential, I knew that I had to knock this one out.

Sadly, I have an upper respiratory infection, my son has an ear infection, my wife has the stomach flu and I have two little monsters running around that need me to give them attention, so between wrapping up work, going to the doctor, waiting an eternity for medication and then making dinner, I was SWAMPED last night.

So you can thank my irritable son for this, because he couldn't sleep last night, which means I couldn't sleep last night, which means I might as well rock him in the living room and watch a movie.

And guess what I watched.


I love L.A. Confidential.  It's one of my favorite films of the 90's and one of the best film noirs of our generation (probably the best of our generation) and it has one of the best ensemble casts in the history of forever.  So, watching the film (for like the twentieth time) was not a problem.  In fact, picking my favorite shot was not a problem either because I knew, the moment that Nate announced that this was the film for the week, which shot I wanted to choose.  It's for two-fold reasons, but what the hell...let's watch the movie again anyways.

The film is so gorgeously shot (and dressed) that it's really a shame that the film is probably mostly remembered (visually) for that one iconic shot:


Don't get me wrong, it's a stunning shot, but there is so much more in this film to salivate over.  I mean, in watching it last night I think I was most visually captivated by this particular shot of James Cromwell:


The lighting in this shot is just fantastic and really captures so many layers of character development as well.  You can see what isn't being told in the structure of the scene.  Speaking of a scene's structure, or composition, I just loved this shot of Basinger for the simple reason that the attention to detail was so astute:


But really, at the end of the day there was one shot, and one shot only for me.

Are you ready?

My BEST SHOT Choice
First, one of the reasons I love this shot is that it really fleshes out the character of Bud White, bringing him to his rightful (or appropriate) finale.  This is that tough as nails cop who never let anyone get to him and has always settled on 'alone' and yet he allowed this entire case to get to him, and the emotional rollercoaster he was under brought him back to...'alone'?  I mean, sure, he got the girl...but look at his face.  This is a man who has never been able to trust, and while he found love, he also found that love hurts like hell and the way that he is framed here, all alone in that car awaiting his love to return, you can almost see the doubt in his eyes.  Is this all real?

And like I said, this was a two-fold choice, and I'll tell you why.  When Russell Crowe (notice I said Crowe, and not White) got shot in the face and they didn't reveal immediately that he had lived, I panicked.  When in the next scene we see Pearce and Basinger together, I thought that in White's death, Lynn was jumping ship and taking up with Exley and I honestly got sick to my stomach.  When the reveal comes, and we see that White is still alive I breathed this sigh of relief.  

See, even I like a happy ending every now and again.

8 comments:

  1. re-watching this over the weekend, it'd been so long since i've seen it that i did think, "i don't remember russell crowe dying." i too am glad that he and lynn got to have their happily ever after...

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    1. What I love so much about the conclusion is less the presumed happy ending but the fact that it is all so ambiguous. Thankfully, Bud is alive (for purely selfish reasons, I say that) but also, thankfully it didn't cop out and make him suddenly satisfied. He's still alone, just not from outward appearances.

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  2. but is it happily ever after. i agree with "Fisti" that it's not as clear at least in terms of how happy Bud actually is.

    anyway, i like the movie more now than I once did.

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    1. Thanks Nate! I'm glad you like the film more now.

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  3. GREAT choice. I love the hell out of that shot. A real "hero shot" that says so much more than words possibly could. Nice work man.

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    1. Thanks Alex! Couldn't agree more.

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  4. Brilliant choice man! I LOVE this film as well. It's probably due for a rewatch. Hope you're feeling better now by the way!

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    1. LOL, not sure how I missed this, but a year later...I'm feeling great :-D

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