anybody wants to
talk about is J. Edgar Hoover wearing a dress!
However, director Clint Eastwood wants to make you realize the movie J.
Edgar is about more than that,
but ... he also puts Leonardo
DiCaprio in a dress (and he's got the legs for it).
DiCaprio stars as J. Edgar Hoover - the controversial, innovative,
treacherous G-Man who worked his way into a position of power to run
and revolutionize the FBI for 48 years. While in his twilight and
dictating his life story to press agents in an effort to tell his side
of the story, we look back over his time in the bureau, the
relationships in his life, and what drove him to be the man he was.
can't ignore the elephant in the room, which is also the reason
most people are going to buy tickets for J.
Edgar, so, yes,
Eastwood and writer Dustin Lance Black explore the extremely close,
warm, personal relationship Hoover shared with his top deputy, Clyde
Tolson (Armie Hammer), but they make this part of the story only one of
about a thousand compelling reasons why J.
Edgar is an Oscar
me with Clint Eastwood at Dc50tv.com.
The relationship is examined and teased (knowing giggles can be heard
all throughout the theater when you see it), but Eastwood and Black
subtly leave it up to the audience to interpret it however each person
sitting in the theater wishes. Was it a close brotherly bond? Did they
have romantic feelings for each other? Did they ever act on something
Eastwood and Black know this is a no win situation to suggest it was
more or less than people suspect, so this part of J.
more of a mystery. None of us really know what happened behind closed
doors, so we can think about it, but Eastwood wants us to think of more
The truly amazing and insightful portions of J.
Edgar show us a
man who is hero and villain. We learn how Hoover established
groundbreaking techniques and theories behind crime scene
investigation, the proper handling of evidence and a more scientific
and logical approach to investigations still practiced to this day,
which gives the audience an appreciation for something he accomplished.
However, we also see a driven man who will stop at nothing to
accomplish a task, maintain power and make himself look good even if he
didn't really do anything, and how that drive becomes a negative
compulsion to maintain power, destroy enemies and make himself the
center of attention, even when it is not necessary. This is why you
need DiCaprio in the lead role, and feel thankful he is there.
When DiCaprio embodies a character, he goes beyond imitating or
mimicking the man. Sure, you are blown away by how much this handsome
movie star looks like the more dumpy Hoover, not only because of the
makeup, but because of the way he controls and contorts his face to
bring that famous person's visage to the screen. It's about his intense
way of conducting himself, shyness in social situations, and discomfort
with his own personality that we look at Hoover as this complex man,
and DiCaprio brings every portion of that to life.
Then, Hammer shows he can hold his own with the Oscar nominee, and
might score one for himself. It's amazing to see Hammer show Tolson's
warmth and love for Hoover, as well as the horrible pain of betrayal.
Hammer shows us Tolson's heart breaking as Hoover becomes maniacal.
You might be coming to see DiCaprio in a dress, but you are staying to
watch virtuoso performances from the director, stars and writer.
Edgar is rated R for brief strong language