Silver Lake Reservoir looking northwest

Silver Lake -- The plot was confusing. The reviews were so-so. And it was a box office dud.

Despite all this, the 2019 movie “Under the Silver Lake” -- shot in Echo Park, Los Feliz and, yes, Silver Lake -- has not been forgotten. Fans of UTSL (as it’s commonly called) debate and discuss its meaning and the motivation of Sam, the protagonist played by Andrew Garfield. Tweeting their admiration, they encourage others to watch.

Recently, “Under the Silver Lake” resurfaced in social media and internet chatter following Garfield’s appearances in the Spiderman blockbuster, “No Way Home,” and his starring role in “Tick, Tick... Boom!”

“Since everyone is obsessed with Andrew Garfield, will Under the Silver Lake get the appreciation it deserves?” one person Tweeted. Said another: 'Where were these so-called Andrew Garfield fans when they let Under the Silver Lake fade into obscurity back in 2019?!"

Movie Web earlier this month ranked Garfield's most memorable movie roles. “Under the Silver Lake” came in at No. 6 … out of six films.

In “Under the Silver Lake,” Garfield plays an unemployed … actor? Musician? Anyway, he can’t pay for his car or apartment. Yet his place has a view of the Hollywood sign, and he spends no time looking for work.

Instead, he's obsessed with the hot blond downstairs after she and nearly everything in her apartment vanishes. Garfield follows a trail of paranoid conspiracy theories and possible hallucinations. At the end, a lot is left unanswered.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 59% on the "Tomatometer," and 55% on the "Audience Score."

Some thought the film would eventually gain acceptance. Reviewer Sonny Bunch initially said the movie kind of sucked. Then later said it didn’t. Brian Tallerico on RogerEbert.com said, “This is the kind of film that garners a cult following and will make underrated lists at the end of the year.”

The film made it onto one of those lists. In the most underrated films of 2019, Thrillist described Garfield's character as “a protagonist that's as watchable as he is thoroughly unappealing….” And that’s from a reviewer who liked it.

But for those living on the Eastside, the film has one bonus: The joy of pointing at the screen and saying, “Hey! That’s my apartment!” Or “I know that place!”

That’s Garfield hiding behind a palm tree at Echo Park Lake. The inside of Mustard Seed Cafe on Hillhurst. The exterior of Intelligentsia. The Silver Lake Reservoir.

The fate of 'Under The Silver Lake' may hinge mainly on the destiny of its lanky lead actor. But give it five out of five stars for its location.

News That Hits Home

News That Hits Home

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Assistant Editor

Barry Lank has worked for newspapers on the East and West Coasts, and earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University. He formerly produced "National Lampoon Presents: The Final Edition." A native of San Gabriel Valley, he now lives in East Hollywood.

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