Where a movie is set often plays a significant role in its story. In this instance, it’s Hollywood, California! Other honorable mentions that have previously been recommended are the films The Big Lebowski, The Big Sleep and Drive.
Tangerine (2015) is written and directed by Sean Baker. Well contemplated is a day in Hollywood at Christmastime, as experienced by an impassioned transgender prostitute. Aside from feeling truly authentic, Tangerine is also impressive, because the footage is shot with iPhones. It’s a well-told gem.
Mulholland Drive (2001) is written and directed by David Lynch. A young woman weathers her inner struggles after moving to Hollywood to become an actress. Being a David Lynch film, Mulholland Drive is brilliantly surreal. An abundance has been written and contemplated about this one.
Magnolia (1999) is written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson spins intertwining tales with great maturity and mastery. Fantastic performances are given by an all-star ensemble cast. Magnolia is a Hollywood-based must-see.
Boogie Nights (1997) is also written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson’s second feature film is an absolute marvel, depicting the 1970s porn industry. Aside from Deliverance, it is certainly Burt Reynolds’ best performance. If you are up to the subject matter, Boogie Nights is top-notch.
Chinatown (1974) is directed by Roman Polanski. Jack Nicholson stars as a detective in this fine film noir in which he must follow a family and find the source of local corruption. Chinatown is revered as one of the finest films of its era, and Southern California is certainly a star.