Saturday, December 3, 2011

J. Edgar

Plot: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) was a colorful and corrupt government official whose austere lifestyle and paranoid beliefs made him a colorful figure. The movie starts in the twenties with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping,  catches mobsters during Prohibition, battles communists during the 50's and blackmails Martin Luther King during the '60s.

Hoover has an odd personal personal life forcused on his mother (Judy Dench,) his work, and his assistant Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer.)  The nature of the relationship is hard to understand.

Review: J. Edgar is a historical memoir with voice over narration and a laser focus on J. Edgar Hoover. The story of eccentricity of Hoover is interesting on human level, but also how Hoover fit in to the events of the 20th Century gives the story heft and substance.

This is the best performance from Leonardo DeCaprio in a longtime.  The dialog is great. In historical movies, it is difficult to know what is real and what is move adaptation. This is especially true here as the film is presenting Hoover's version of the story, which is overstating his importance.

I liked the sound editing -- it isn't usual that the sound editing seems sharp, but it did here. There is not much muscial sound track and the photography was unexceptional.

The old age make up works on DiCaprio and Watts, but Hammer looks awful. What happened to his face?

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Rating:   3 stars: always entertaining; 

More: Gotta like Judy Dench

Even more: Here is a photo of the real Hoover and Tolson:

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