Warning: Spoiler Alert Below
J. Edgar is a biopic about one of biggest and most controversial power players in the United States’ law enforcement history. The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, dives into the life of J. Edgar Hoover as an old man close to death, and flashes back to his twenty-four year old self while progressing through the big moments of his life. Sadly, I do not think it truly grasped Hoover’s legendary role. The film is over 2 hours and 15 minutes long (SO LONG!), and even though it is hard to squeeze five decades of power into that time frame, it seemed few of what the screenwriter (Dustin Black) chose to include was interesting or controversial. Hoover’s attempt to shake down and ruin Martin Luther King was interesting and shocking, but missed much.
Playing Hoover is the always talented Leonardo DiCaprio. Ever since Titanic (just get me some wine and a DVD copy and my Friday night is made) I have been a fan of Leo. His movie roles are always compelling and I believe he is a great actor. Although can you imagine him in a comedy? It’s hard to believe one of his first big roles was on Growing Pains. This stays true in J. Edgar and I thought he gave a compelling performance along with Armie Hammer. Hot newcomer Hammer plays his sidekick and Associate Director Clyde Tolson. OMG can I please just let everyone know how fine Mr. Hammer is? I can almost forget his first name is Armie. You probably remember him as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network. He was hot then and he is hot now – although not so much at the age of 70+.
Speaking of the different time periods in the film, in the shift from young to old, the actors’ makeup becomes quite intense, and is rather distracting. It was poorly done, which is a shame since apparently is took 6 hours to create the transformations. Also, WARNING: SPOILER ALERT — Hoover is suspected of being a homosexual and Eastwood took this rumor and ran with it. A large portion of the plot deals with Hoover’s underlying sexuality and secretive relationship with Tolson. Based on the amount of focus on this, I figured Hoover’s gay tendencies were fact. However, while researching this after watching the film, I found that historians are unable to come to a consensus on the matter of his sexuality. If you are dying to see Leo and Armie get their smooch on, now is your chance.
If you are a huge history buff, the movie may be worth checking out, but I am warning you, the script lacks some clarity and depth.
P.S. Hottie Josh Lucas makes an appearance as Charles Lindbergh in the mysterious kidnapping case. LOVE HIM.