2 hours, 6 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for language, some violence and sexual content.
DVD Features: Deleted Scenes; Recreating Old Hollywood; Behind the Headlines; Hollywood Then and Now; Feature Commentary with Director Allen Coulter
This is the story of "Superman" star George Reeves (Ben Affleck "Good Will Hunting") in the 1950s and his struggle to find success without his Superman cape. It’s the story of a man who's living two seperate lives. A public one where he was happily enjoying his Superman role, and a private one where he was mostly unhappy with his both his career and his his life.
In a concurrent storyline, a hard boiled private-eye Louis Simo (Adrien Brody "The Pianist") investigates George Reeves’ death. At first he does so at the request of Reeves’ mother (Lois Smith "Fried Green Tomatoes"). Subsequently he continues the investigation for himself. The police believe it is an open and shut suicide; but Simo tackles it as a possible murder, convincing the national news media to force the cops to re-open their files.
This is Allen Coulter’s first major motion picture directing assignment, following a busy career in television as a director of episodes of "The Sopranos," "Sex and The City" and "Six Feet Under." Propelling the first storyline forward towards Reeves’ death, while reversing the second storyline backwards from the shooting as Simo attempts to discover what really happened. He deconstructs Reeves’ life by creating likely scenarios that all point towards murder as he uncovers facts about Reeves' affair with Toni Mannix (Diane Lane 'Unfaithful"), an older woman whose husband, Eddie (Bob Hoskins "Mrs Henderson Presents"), happens to be an important MGM executive. Ben Affleck’s understated portrayal shows Reeves as a man with unfulfilled hopes and dreams, suffering personal and private disappointments. He seems to be the kind of guy who just might have killed himself. But Simo is determined to uncover a conspiracy, whileat the same time we’re watching a charming, funny, sometimes disturbed actor going through all the motions of his life with an air of almost inevitability.
The only frustration is that the film never unequivocally solves the mystery of Reeves’ death, but it surely explores every phase of it. By the fade out you’ll feel like you really understand Reeves, but Simo's motives remain something of a puzzle, even though he's beautifully played by Academy Award winner Adrien Brody. When Reeves’ mother stops paying him, why does he continue with his investigation? Is it because he loves the publicity, or is it because he, like so many others, simply refused to believe Superman could have shot himself in the head? Ultimately, figuring out Louis Simo proves as enjoyable as uncovering the mystery of George Reeves’ life.
Adrien Brody ... Louis Simo
Diane Lane ... Toni Mannix
Ben Affleck ... George Reeves
Bob Hoskins ... Eddie Mannix
Lois Smith ... Helen Bessolo
Robin Tunney ... Leonore Lemmon
Larry Cedar ... Chester
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Art Weissman