RARA-AVIS: Sentimental Ellroy

daniel Sevitt (sevitt@infolink.net.il)
Thu, 21 May 1998 21:46:56 +0300 I definitely think Ellroy shows a soft side in Since I Don't Have You. Not
only does he shoe affection for Gretchen and Sid, but he also turns Buzz
Meeks into a likeable hero. At the end of the story an older and wiser Meeks
reminisces about the fast times with the Mickster and HH, "It's tough being
a dangerous old man by yourself." It was sad to read that in light of the
events that take place at the start of L. A. Confidential.
For more of the softer, gentler Ellroy, you probably have to go all the way
back to Brown's Requiem. The eponymous Brown has a bizarre relationship with
a childhood buddy called Walter. And that is about that.
Does anyone remember the filmed version of Since I Don't Have You that went
out as part of the Fallen Angels series from HBO. I caught it on the BBC
about 3-4 years ago. (The series also included Tom Hanks' first piece as
director which was a Chandler short from one of the collections starring
Bruno Kirby.) Gary Busey, traditionally a dreadful actor, made a definitive
Buzz Meeks. His image stayed with me when I read The Big Nowhere for the
first time. But even more impressive than that was James Woods as Mickey
Cohen. Truly inspired casting. Of course, that was Woods' second appearance
in an Ellroy adaptation, but I'll leave you to work out what his first was.

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