The 63rd Venice Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with Brian De Palma’s noir “The Black Dahlia” giving the Lido some sparkle. De Palma’s adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel, which delves into the underbelly of 1940s Hollywood as it reconstructs the murder of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, was received warmly, although inevitable comparisons with Curtis Hanson’s “L.A. Confidential,” also from an Ellroy novel, were not always in its favor. However, Ellroy, also at the Lido, praised De Palma for “isolating the key themes of sexual obsession, redemption and the triangulation of one man (Hartnett) between two women (Johansson and Hilary Swank).”
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