Wednesday, March 14, 2012

J. Edgar - DVD Review

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney, Stephen Root, Denis O'Hare, Damon Herriman and David Clennon.
Directed by Clint Eastwood.


While I consider every directorial effort by Clint Eastwood a must-see, that doesn't mean he hits in out of the park each time, and this is an uneven effort, a meandering biopic about J. Edgar Hoover that spans sixty years, and Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hoover for all of those sixty years. And this is a problem.

Someday they'll digitally age actors instead of trying the old pancake make-up routine. I don't mind brief scenes with younger actors aged to make a point, but since DiCaprio spends a third of the movie buried in the stuff, I couldn't suspend my disbelief long enough. I'd rather Eastwood had gone with three 77-year-old actors to play Hoover, Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), and secretary Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts).

My other problem with this is the whole thing is so morose and dour. The lighting is saturated of any color that could be mistaken for warmth.

Now buried in all of this is a great central performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. His Hoover is steely, maybe a little shady, more than a little paranoid. By the end I wasn't sure if I should view Hoover as a hero or a villain. I was just ready for ti to be over.

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