Today: July 23, 2024

Movies About Hollywood

One thing the film industry loves doing making films about
making films. Yet audiences love it to, giving us mere mortals a glimpse into
the real Hollywood. This week sees the release of
Somewhere, the new film from Lost In Translation and
The Virgin Suicides director Sofia
Coppola, starring Stephen Dorff as an aimless Hollywood badboy who re-evaluates
his life when he is re-united with his 11-year old daughter. It is a
beautifully honest tale from Coppola, and to mark its release, we look down the
ten best movies about Hollywood.

The Player

Robert Altman’s sprawling masterpiece stars Tim Robbins as a
studio executive hounded by a disgruntled writer and trying to negotiate the
malaise of Hollywood industry types and hangers-on. The film is littered with
cameos from Hollywood stars, mostly notably Bruce Willis, who pops up in the
tack-on happy ending to the ‘serious’ film Robbins is trying to produce.

Sunset Boulevard

This classic film noir tells the tale of aspiring writer
who, desperate for cash, ends living with a faded silent movie queen losing her
grip on sanity, attempting to write her comeback film. It is famously narrated
by the protagonist from beyond the grave, and is one of the bleakest portrayals
Hollywood has ever produced of itself.

LA Confidential

This adaption of James Ellroy’s epic 1950s set crime novel
was one of the most critically acclaimed films of the 1990s. The film paints
Hollywood as a grim and depressing land of failed dreams, dominated by sleazy
scandals – the title refers to notorious 50s celeb gossip magazine Confidential, though its name is changed to the fictional
‘Hush-Hush’ in the film.


This great little comedy celebrates the unsuccessful people
in Hollywood. Steve Martin plays a wannabe film producer who persuades the
identical brother of movie star Eddie Murphy (also played by Eddie Murphy) to
star in his low-budget flick. It’s more slapstick than savage satire but the
film is widely acknowledged to be the last funny film that both Martin and
Murphy have made.

Get Shorty

John Travolta stars as a Miami loan shark who decides to get
in to the only business more shifty than organised crime: the film industry. He
pitches a thinly veiled version of his life story to B-Movie producer Gene
Hackman, and he’s on his way. A fast paced satire on Hollywood, but avoid the
sequel Be Cool, which tries, and
completely fails, to do the same for music industry.

Singin’ In The Rain

Everyone remembers the songs and Gene Kelly’s dance moves
from this classic musical, but what people often forget is the film also a very
sharp tale of Hollywood’s history. Fictional studio Monumental Pictures is
dragged into the sound era when their rivals strike gold with the first
‘talkie’ in this excellent example of Hollywood building its own myths.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

This classic comedy is not only a technical marvel but also
a fantastically imaginative take on movie folklore. In alternate 1947 where
animated characters aren’t drawn, they are real and live in an animated
district of LA called Toontown, private eye Bob Hoskins is drawn into a web of
corruption. The cameos from Mickey, Donald, Bugs et al are the icing on the

Mullholland Drive

David Lynch’s surreal story of an aspiring actress trying to
make it in Tinseltown is the sort of dreamlike take on Hollywood that only
Lynch could make. Naomi Watts play as young actress who takes hypnotic
non-linear trip through LA and the film industry, running into mobsters, scary
cowboys and even Billy Ray Cyrus.

Barton Fink

In arguably the Coen Brother’s darkest film, the titular
Barton Fink is a successful New York playwright who comes to LA chasing
Hollywood’s gold, but gets stuck writing creatively unsatisfying ‘wrestling
pictures’. A brilliant take on the battle between art and commerce, it also
features an absolutely superb supporting turn from John Goodman.


Sophia Coppola’s new film stars Stephen Dorff as Johnny
Marco, a Hollywood actor drifting aimlessly through the celebrity highlife.
Then his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) from his failed marriage
arrives at his hotel room unexpectedly. Beautifully shot, understated, sweet
and touching, Coppola’s film draws on her life as Hollywood royalty and shows
there is much more to life than fame and celebrity.

Somewhere is
released on 10th December 2010.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

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