I watched J. Edgar during the long weekend… I wasn’t that fussed about it, to tell the truth, but I got a nice surprise from it.
The main character is, obviously, J. Edgar Hoover. He is played by Leo DiCaprio. The movie basically tells the story of Hoover, director of the FBI for nearly 50 years; how he basically built the Bureau, his (sometimes very questionable) methods, and the secrets that, if revealed, could destroy him.
The story is told using flashbacks; you see the characters both young and in their old age. You get to witness the investigation concerning the kidnapping of Charles Lindberg’s baby, for example, and how the hard evidence that the FBI collected was vital to the arrest of Bruno Hauptmann. You also get to see the relationship between Edgar and his mother (played by Dame Judi Dench), as well as the close relationship that developed between Hoover and his right hand, Clyde Tolson (played by Armie Hammer). So, you get to see both the hard, ruthless director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the caring, loving Edgar who clearly had mother issues as well as a certain disregard for women…
The performances are excellent, I think. Although many people still think that DiCaprio can’t act, I maintain that he is one of the best actors of his generation. And if he gets directed by the one and only Clint Eastwood, the results have to be good!! Armie Hammer surprised me very much; I had only seen him as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, and I think he played his part as Tolson beautifully. I found the story very engaging; my husband said it was ok, but I thought it was very interesting. The movie does a very good job at showing you that people are not either good or bad, but every one of us has good and not so good characteristics, features, feelings and ways to go about our lives. It’s a very human story.
If I have to mention the one big BUT, is the make up. At times it looks very natural (I liked Ms. Gandy), but often it looks exaggerated. Especially in old Edgar’s case. That’s unfortunate, since it can really take you out of the story.
I think this is a very solid movie. Not my favorite Eastwood or DiCaprio movie, but solid.
Well, that’s all for now! See you soon!