Episode 4

L.A. Confidential (1997) and This Boy's Life (1993)

In the fourth episode of our Set in the 1950s cycle, we cover the 1990s neo-noir LA Confidential along side the coming of age tale in This Boy's Life.

We dive into two different worlds of the 1950s: the glam and seedy glitz of Los Angeles vs the cold and wet solitude of rural Washington. LA Confidential won high praise upon its release in the fall of 1997. It's stature has not faded much in the 25 years since. This Boy's Life had a muted release Easter weekend of 1993, and it seems to have gone missing since then. While LA Confidential uses the 1950s as a way to doll up the actors and scenery, it's satirical wit is focused mostly on the city itself and less on the time period. LA is notoriously born of bad blood, and the film never lets us forget that. This Boy's Life has much more simple and intimate story of triumph over an overbearing authority. It's matinee sappiness covers up a base coat of 1950s misogyny and patriarchy it attempts to critique.

Note: This podcast was recorded and produced during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of writers and actors currently on strike, Asteroid City and The Fabelmans would not exist. Support the artists who make the art you love.