I finally caught up with HOLLYWOODLAND tonight.
A very good but flawed film. It uses a narrative device of a fictional private detective investigating the death of George Reeves, intercut with the actual backstory.
Ben Affleck, who plays Reeves (the star of the 50s serial SUPERMAN), does an amazing job of bringing to life the part of a hack actor playing a hack part. It's the best performance of his career.
In fact, the Superman scenes brought up bizarre childhood memories of watching the show in reruns in my childhood. They were very well done.
Adrien Brody, on the other hand, gave the performance of a lifetime in THE PIANIST, and has been trying to find his acting chops since. His approach to the part of the detective is almost a caricature, and with Affleck's naturalistic performance within a performance, it calls attention to Brody's mannered acting. In fact, the whole narrative structure feels interruptive, with Brody's character an intrusion in the flow. The third act of the film also feels labored, and without the detective it might have flowed a lot better.
Yet the story and Affleck are so compelling that the movie is still worthwhile.