30 for 30: L.A. Confidential (1997)





I knew when I started this project 10 days ago that the further back I went, the less reliable my memories would get. Out of the 365 days of 1997, there are just two things I remember: My cousin Marina’s wedding in April – perhaps the grandest wedding I’ve attended – and the passing of my grandmother two days later. I don’t remember her as well as I should but my grandmother, whom we affectionately called Grannie, had been bed-ridden for half of her life. Rheumatism might have rendered her body a prisoner but her strength of mind was the stuff that stories were made out of. She had taken seriously ill a little less than a month before the wedding and many of us expected the celebration to be postponed because of her condition. But even in her terminal condition, she coaxed us to continue the wedding as planned.

When she died, some 48 hours after the wedding, and only an hour after the last post-wedding celebration had ended, I couldn’t help but think that it was by her design. That she had realized that her long wait had finally come to an end. It’s a romantic notion I know, but sometimes you’ve got to believe that it’s more than just coincidence. A day later, the entire wedding party gathered for the funeral, many of us still dressed in our best wedding suits. It was the grandest funeral I attended.

There’s no way to segue into talk about a movie after a dour topic like that so I’ll just say that my favorite movie of 2007 is Curtis Hanson’s twisty noir mystery L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. Noir and the sub-genre of hard-boiled detectives are personal favorites and this film combined the best of those. Other favorites from the year include Good Will Hunting, Boogie Nights, Gattaca, The Game, Donnie Brasco, and Tarantino’s supremely underrated Elmer Leonard adaptation Jackie Brown. This was also the year Titanic became the biggest movie ever. Although it tends to be unfairly maligned by smug cinephiles, it’s an extremely fine film that I think will stand the test of time as one of cinema’s riskiest and ballsiest undertakings.

About 30-for-30

Movies are a huge part of my life – I mean, why else would I be running a blog/site devoted to movies? To commemorate the occasion of my 30th birthday (later this month), I’ll be counting down to the big day by posting a photo of my favorite movie for each year of the last 30 years I’ve survived on this planet. These aren’t my favorite 30 movies EVER but merely the movie I consider my favorite (or the best) of each year. This is my 30 for 30. Click here to see the other 30 for 30 posts.


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