“A screenplay is just words on paper,” said the late Curtis Hanson when he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with co-writer Brian Helgeland for “L.A. Confidential” (1997). Hanson died Tuesday at 71 of natural causes, according to TMZ who broke the story of the Oscar winner’s death. In his acceptance speech (watch above), Hanson humbly praised his cast by saying, “We had an extraordinary ensemble of actors in ‘L.A. Confidential’ who took our lines and gave them emotion, humor, life.”
The star of “L.A. Confidential,” Russell Crowe, took to Twitter to express his condolences. “Obviously distracted & upset … RIP to Curtis Hanson … this correction because he would have asked for another take … ‘in technicolor sir.'”
Hanson also earned Oscar nominations that year for producing and directing the noir film, though he lost out to “Titanic” and its helmer James Cameron. Besides the Oscar for writing, “L.A. Confidential” also took home the Best Supporting Actress trophy for Kim Basinger.
In 2002 Hanson directed the Eminem-fronted film “8 Mile,” which won the Best Song Oscar for “Lose Yourself.” If there are any two films on this planet more different in tone, style and subject matter than “L.A. Confidential” and “8 Mile,” we’d be pressed to find them, proving that Hanson truly was a one-of-a-kind filmmaker.
Hanson’s other best-known works include “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” (1992), “Wonder Boys” (2000), “In Her Shoes” (2005) and HBO’s “Too Big to Fail” (2011) for which he earned Emmy noms for both producing and directing.
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