Black Dahlia, The
Source: Catholic News Service
Adaptation of James Ellroy's novel built around the never-solved, true-life case of a young Hollywood hopeful (Mia Kirshner) -- whose mutilated body was found in a vacant lot in 1947 -- focusing on two L.A. cops (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) who are involved in the case. The Hartnett character finds himself in a platonic menage with his partner and the latter's longtime girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson), then falls under the sway of a seductive rich girl (Hilary Swank) who resembles the murder victim. Brian DePalma's film-noir homage is uneven as drama (with its overly complex script), despite his customary stylish flourishes and good, if occasionally over-the-top, performances, but the pileup of sordid revelations, though expected in the noir genre, and sundry other lurid plot elements preclude recommendation. Rough and crude language, general decadence, sexual situations and innuendo, much violence, a couple of brutal boxing matches, some grisly imagery, a re-creation of the lesbian underworld, pornography, adultery, incest, rear nudity, murder, suicide and drug use. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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