If you don’t like films where you don’t know what’s going on, Chinatown is not for you. Everyone has secrets and nothing is as it seems. Diane Ladd had a small role. You know, Laura Dern’s mom. There are a few pieces of trivia I’d like to include here but it would reveal details best revealed by watching. I won’t do it to this caliber of film, leaving me with less to say.
Chinatown is neo-noir, a modern interpretation of the 40’s and 50’s film style. It is set in the late 1930’s and follows many of the same conventions but with a more modern sensibility. Code-banned topics are dealt with using code-banned language. Nicholson’s Jake is present in every scene.
Many lesser films use the obfuscation game to make their films seem complex or deep. But Chinatown is a masterpiece. All the pieces fit together in the end, the performances are exceptional, and the cinematography is spectacular. It demands a second viewing and I look forward to that. Too bad the director is a child molester. AMRU 4.5.
“But, Mrs. Mulwray, I goddamn near lost my nose. And I like it. I like breathing through it. And I still think you're hiding something.”