Friend and lover of movies, director Curtis Hanson has passed on to the next plane of existence yesterday afternoon. According to reports from the Los Angeles Police Department, Hanson (71) died as the result of a heart attack.
Hanson is probably best known for his stylistic, neo-noir drama/thriller L.A. Confidential, which won him the Oscar for best writing as well as best supporting actress trophy for Kim Basinger. Not to mention its seven other nominations including best picture and best director.
The director’s last film was “Chasing Mavericks,” a biopic of surfer Jay Moriarity starring Gerard Butler, but Hanson had to leave that production toward the end of shooting in 2011 due to what was said at the time to be complications following his recent heart surgery. Michael Apted completed the film and the two shared credit on it.
His project just prior to “Chasing Mavericks” was the HBO film “Too Big to Fail” — about the efforts to save the U.S. economy from the abyss in 2008 — for which he received two Emmy nominations.
For me personally, my first experience with the director was in 1992’s The Hand that Rocks the Cradle; which possibly hasn’t aged very well but at the time was a fairly hearty thriller that I believe audiences cheered for and was a commercial success – and indeed was nominated for a few awards itself. But of all his films, the one I would most certainly like to go to bat for is the 2000 dramedy Wonder Boys starring Michael Douglas.
It’s too bad we won’t get to see more from this director who was kind of an “every three years” kind of film maker. Which is often the sign of someone contemplative and caring about his craft. You will be missed by many sir. God speed.