Hollywood (Netflix Mini-Series) Movie Review


Ryan Murphy plays with Tinseltown history in his latest Netflix mini-series "Hollywood," which follows a group of people's aspirations and thirst to make it big in the entertainment industry. Playing with historical timelines can be tricky but can win over many. Just last year, Quentin Tarantino received some of the best reviews of his career (though not here at Big Picture Big Sound) with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," which paid homage to bygone years of movies. The movie received 10 Oscar nominations, winning Brad Pitt his second Oscar, but was divisive in its handling of famous Los Angeles-set events.
Murphy, a seven-time Emmy Award winner and 37-time nominee, is likely to find himself nominated again for his glitzy and glamorous recreation of post-World War II Hollywood. Like most of his work, "Hollywood" is an ensemble piece, but we first meet Jack Costello (David Corenswet), who served in the war then moved to Los Angeles in the hopes of making it as an actor. He is courted by Ernie (Dylan McDermott), who operates a gas station that serves as a front for an escort service. Jack is reluctant to take part, but he needs money to support his wife (Maude Apatow) and soon-to-be-born twins.

Jack's storyline isn't the entire focus of "Hollywood," but sets up the series' kaleidoscopic look at Hollywood's Golden Age. Each character has their own set of goals and hurdles to overcome in order to achieve their dream. Jack becomes friends with Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope), who wants to become a screenwriter. He has a script ready to go but knows as a gay black man, his dreams are going to be harder to achieve than most. Archie also works for Ernie and meets Rock (Jake Picking), an aspiring actor, who is facing the challenge of living his true self in a time that will be less than accepting.

The first few episodes of the series are about the characters navigating the Hollywood terrain, and they introduce the power players in the industry. The back half of the series feels a bit more focused on the making of a movie, based on the screenplay written by Archie. His original story is re-worked as a film called "Meg," which is greenlit by studio head Avis Amberg (Patti Lupone). Raymond Ainsley (Darren Criss) is tapped to direct, but studio support for the production is lukewarm because the film will star an African American actress named Camille Washington (Laura Harrier), and the studio is prepping for the inevitable backlash.

The behind the scenes machinations that go into producing, making, and ultimately distributing "Meg" is the most interesting aspect of "Hollywood." It entirely encompasses the last half of the seven-part series, which feels a bit disjointed after the first half. The messaging early on is somewhat muddled, creating and emphasizing the "will do anything" mentality that comes with wanting to make it in Hollywood. Punctuating the message is Henry Wilson (Jim Parsons), a predatory agent who eagerly takes advantage of all the young men that wish to become actors. Certainly things shouldn't be sanitized, because this kind of behavior exists in Hollywood, but there seems to be a sense that the actions taken by the characters are what needs to be done in order to achieve their dreams.

At its core, "Hollywood" plays like a fantasy of what could have been if discriminatory practices hadn't been so prevalent. Murphy's objective is clearly to show that these systemic issues still remain and that the entire landscape of the movie business could have been different if studios and society writ large weren't so beholden to prejudices and biases. It's an interesting idea to explore, but "Hollywood" shifts focus and storylines a bit too haphazardly to make a strong impact.

The period design is lush and gorgeous, capturing sunny Los Angeles at a time when what was happening behind the scenes was much darker. "Hollywood" tries to tell the story of an alternate time in seven episodes, but the end result shows it needed a little more space and time to develop its message and the characters. Everyone has a story about trying to make it in the movies, and "Hollywood" suffers a bit from trying to capture that.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Hollywood (Netflix Mini-Series) Movie Review Hollywood (Netflix Mini-Series) Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, May 02, 2020 Rating: 5


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