It’s ‘Chinatown,’ Jake

Janet Maslin at the NYT:

The film “Chinatown” was meticulously designed to capture a precise moment in Los Angeles’s history. Everything about its look and feel says 1937, not 1936 or 1938. In the same way, “The Big Goodbye,” Sam Wasson’s deep dig into the making of the film, is a work of exquisite precision. It’s about much more than a movie. It’s about the glorious lost Hollywood in which that 1974 movie was born.

In a scrupulously researched and reported book with a stellar cast of players, not to mention some astonishing sources, Wasson sees Roman Polanski as the genius who elevated “Chinatown” from good to great. Anyone offended by that should stay away.

more here.