exceeded expectations. this is probably the role of keanu reeves’ lifetime. some would say that that’s not saying much, but, to be fair, he’s been in some good films and done well in a few of them – parenthood and the matrix being the two standout examples. here, he actually looks like an actor with some depth and something more beyond his simple face. he’s generally the kind of actor who acts very literally and leaves little to the imagination, but here he allows you to read his performance, rather than hearing it. that is, when he’s stewing inside he doesn’t overdo it by saying “gosh i’m so angry right now” or by overacting, he just acts, and that’s an accomplishment. kidding aside, it’s a good performance by a notoriously subpar actor.
the writing, by james ellroy, is as good as you would expect. it grabs you almost right away (though, the alarm clock beginning is (i’m told) cliché) and never lets go. i once wrote a story that began with the protagonist waking up to an alarm clock and everyone in the class said that it was a cliché way to begin a story. wonder if those assholes would have told ellroy (author of l.a. confidential) the same thing.Watched in theater