J. Edgar [Blu-ray]
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DiCaprio does a fine job of staying in character (including his East Coast accent), and if his makeup as an older man isn't completely convincing, the dark palette employed by cinematographer Tom Stern throughout the movie (even a daytime scene at a racetrack finds most of the spectators' faces shadowed by their hat brims) makes that much less apparent. As for Eastwood, he has long since established himself as a master of his craft, and although the lengthy J. Edgar has its tedious moments, this is an engaging, admirable film. And while Hoover was almost totally humorless, the movie isn't; it's unlikely that the scene in which Hoover receives the news of John F. Kennedy's assassination while secretly listening to an audiotape of King having illicit sex really happened, but it sure is entertaining. --Sam Graham
Top Customer Reviews
To me this scene is symbollic of the larger film. J. Edgar Hoover is a film about a man who, like many of us, had many sides and aspects that composed who he was. He was greatly conflicted about which side he should portray publicly and stumbled rather awkwardly in his younger years, illustrated wonderfully in the film, until finally deciding that J. Edgar Hoover was who he was going to be. That was the side he was going to live publicly and the person he was going to be, right or wrong, with full conviction. The rest of the film shows us the consequent problems, struggles and complications that follow from this choice.
I was concerned that this film wouldn't live up to my expectations, others have been rating it rather ordinary and others negatively, few seem really excited about it after having viewed it. In a way I can see where they are coming from. It is a long film with dark moody colors, almost as if Eastwood wanted it to be black and white, and a lot of dialogue that moves quite fast without much regard for helping the audience along or spelling things out.Read more ›
Let me first say that when I first heard of this project in the works I virtually knew very little about the F.B.I founder. I had however seen great depictions by actors like Bob Hoskins, Vincent Gardenia, Billy Crudup and more recently by Enrico Colantoni. All good performances without a doubt but only two dimensional portrayals. Here DiCaprio creates a 5th dimensional character that the audience can try to more or less understand.
The film spans nearly 50 years in the history timeline, jumping timeframe by time frame and creating a rich tapestry of political drama and turmoil in our nation's history. DiCaprio plays both the young, ambitious and advanced Hoover as well as the old, embittered czar whom all politicians feared by the 1950's.Armie Hammer plays his protege and second man in the Bureau Clyde Tolson. Hammer is the soul and conscience of the film as well as Hoover's constantly ignored emotions. Judi Dench, Naomi Watts and Jeffrey Donovan turn in great performances as well. The screenplay is rich and meticulously researched and Eastwood's direction has perfected greatly to the point of crafting his most ambitous, and richest project since his excellent "Flags/Letters" duo.
If you enjoy history, historical dramas, this is for you. A thought provoking, psychological insight into this man's soul and heart and the effect he had on this nation's history. One of the most chilling moments in the film happens toward end when a anxiously devastated Hoover witnesses the inaugural of Richard Nixon amd almost forsees the devastation that will befall the U.S.Read more ›
Sitting down to watch it I knew first that I would hate Hoover. No, more, I really wanted to hate Hoover... historically, what's not to hate, the man was a mono-maniacal paranoid, a narcissistic, closeted, cross-dressing, hypocritical power-abuser, a polluter of all that could have been good in the still relatively young and malleable America of his time. And yes, all that is there in the movie, even down to the cross-dressing. Clint seems go at it dourly and steadfastly to begin with, the young Hoover is as pushy and repellant as you would expect, but as we see more of his character's complexity, told in tandem with his youthful zeal and intractable old-age, it appears like the liberal softy that he (Clint) is just can't go through with it. So gradually it turns the corner and becomes a rather touching gay love-story. So much so that we lose focus somewhat on J. Edgar himself in favor of his long-time companion, Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), who becomes our surrogate in observing the appalling self-parody that Hoover becomes. Eastwood is so good, drawing you in to the life of a notorious historical villain, setting him up, then almost forgiving him. Yes, there is absolution here. Hoover loved, and was loved in return, by Tolson, who is portrayed as essentially a good guy, and was also loved by his long time secretary, Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts).Read more ›
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