Black Dahlia, The (2006, USA/GER) C-121m. SCOPE *** D: Brian De Palma. Starring Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw, Patrick Fischler, James Otis, Angus McInnes, Rachel Miner, Gregg Henry, Rose McGowan, k. d. lang. Tour-de-force by director De Palma, his best film in a long time. Typical James Ellroy crime maelstrom about boxer-turned-cop Hartnett and his partner Eckhart, a former boxer himself, who investigate a murder case in 1940 L.A. Superbly directed, stylishly shot (by Vilmos Zsigmond) and well-scored by Mark Isham, movie scores in almost all departments. Great voice-over narration adds an inimitable 1940s crime feel. Inspired by a real murder case. Written by Josh Friedman.

© Ron Altman