Your weekly streaming pick has arrived! We’re doing something a bit different this time around. Your streaming pick is not something new by any stretch. It is, however, a classic. 1974’s Chinatown is currently streaming on Hulu. Revisiting this movie is a reminder at how movies used to be made. It’s a masterclass in tension. The pacing is deliberate but there is so much to the production and performances it will hold even today’s audience’s attention.
In the late 1930’s a lowly PI named JJ Gittes (Jack Nicholson) spends most of his career busting cheating spouses. Taking on a higher profile target Gittes sees some shady dealings and his world gets torn wide open.
Chinatown is an old Hollywood movie that demands any movie fans attention. Jack Nocholson and Faye Dunaway are at the top of their acting game. This movie even got Nicholson a Best Actor Oscar. Dunaway was nominated, but did not take home a statue. Statue or not, both of these actors are stunning on the screen. The story unravels around them and they blend into the themes and threads perfectly.
Chinatown is currently streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime
Some sketchy personal issues aside, Roman Polanski has made some incredible movies. Chinatown is one of the largest feathers in his cap. The movie makes it clear that Polanski knows how to unfold drama.
The noir style detective movie takes place almost four decades prior to when it was made. It has all the trademarks of detective stories of the era the story is set in. The themes of the movie, dealing with LA’s never ending drought, are a timeless staple in something that city will always be fighting. It seems all the more prevalent in our current times of questionable politics, big business taking over, and LA fighting immense wildfires.
This write up isn’t the usual deep dive we do on smaller, more recent, projects. If you’re a film fan Chinatown speaks for itself. If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t in a while, get on it. To do a double feature the follow up to Chinatown, The Two Jakes, is a well crafted movie but lacks some of the deep intrigue of Chinatown. It took a critical beating upon it’s release which lead to the third movie in the trilogy being canned for good.
Now is a great time to catch Chinatown streaming. It streams in a beautiful restoration with that soft feel and brilliant color only old film seemed to be able to capture.