Friday, November 18, 2011
Normally, a film based on the historic life of anybody screams "Oscar," but J. Edgar was certainly not popular with the critics in its first week. This worried me, considering critics usually like this type of movie WAY more than an average guy like myself, but, nevertheless, it intrigued me. Heading in, I knew very little historic information about the actual life of J. Edgar Hoover, aside from knowing he had issues. So, I knew it would be difficult for me to pick apart any pitiful portrayals on the part of Eastwood and DiCaprio. That being said, I know that DiCaprio can act, considering two of his movies made my "Best of 2010" (Inception, Shutter Island), and, if you have a good actor playing a historic character, the results tend to be awesome. Hence my watching J. Edgar...
The plot was based on history, so it is difficult to criticise, if you see where I'm coming from. Hoover was a greatly strange individual,w ho lived in his own little world. People like this are fascinating, but, unfortunately, the movie did have a weird feel about it. It was not your traditional history story. If any of you have ever seen Public Enemies, it was sort of like that. Weirdly historic.
Best Scene: There is a scene where Hoover reacts to the death of his mother. This is the one and only time he acted like a real person.
The cast was very star-studded beyond Leonardo DiCaprio. Naomi Watts plays Hoover's secretary, Helen Gandy; Judi Dench plays Hoover's mother, and Armie Hammer plays Clyde Tolson, Hoover's right-hand man/love interest. His relationship with Clyde was very strange. He obviously had a thing for him, but he never actually admitted it. He had a great amount of respect for his mother and Ms. Gandy, and they played important roles in his life. Hoover really was an interesting character in our nation's history, and he had more power than you might realize. Criminal justice was very much lacking before he entered the scene. This means that there would have been no CSI without J. Edgar Hoover, for all of you crime drama freaks. With that being said, I just didn't buy DiCaprio in the role. I honestly can't put my finger on the problem, but there definitely was one.
Best Character: Charles Lindbergh, played by Josh Lucas, was probably the most interesting part of the movie. His piece in the puzzle of our nation's history was much larger than you might realize. I found that very interesting and was glad that he was included.
Worst Character: Bobby Kennedy, played by Jeffrey Donovan, was one of the weirdest characters in the show. They played him up a little much, but mostly the acting was just awful.
There is only one word to describe J. Edgar.... WEIRD!!! The movie was not that badly put together, as you can expect with Eastwood directing, but the film had an overall weirdness to it. I didn't care for it. They did a good job with DiCaprio's make up, but I think they should have let an older man play the part, because the make-up seemed a bit over done. While DiCaprio's make up was good, Armie Hammer, on the other hand, looked like he had just participated in a whip cream pie war. It was AWFUL! I have had great trouble writing this review because, as I said, there is nothing I can particularly describe that made the whole movie bad, but, nevertheless, I didn't care for the whole thing. I don't suggest that you watch this movie. Just look J. Edgar Hoover up on wikipedia! I give J. Edgar 2.57 out of 5 stars.