Sunday, November 13, 2011

J. Edgar- review

Hey! These things make everything look bigger!
I really love the movies that Clint Eastwood chooses to work with.  They are usually very bold and have the actors take on really unique challenges with a compelling story.  The cast is usually very strong and there is a lot that can be said about it when it all comes together well.  As for “J. Edgar,” I’m just going to say that every director is entitled to a bad movie now and again. 

Leonard DiCaprio as Phillip Seymour Hoffman
“J. Edgar” tells the story of J. Edgar Hoover as he creates the F.B.I and follows him through some of the biggest cases of his life.  As we follow this we see a different side of him as very paranoid man, who blackmails anyone that might go against the bureau and how he is a closeted homosexual.  The movie hop scotches through time and we see him as a young man and at his final days as an old man bearing the likeness of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  The film lacks a lot of cohesiveness of an overall story arc which makes it seem like a long look at someone’s jumbled up photo album.

Why can't I quit you?
In the film’s defense the cast is really good.  Leonardo DiCaprio is really good at playing Hoover, and Naomi Watts is wonderful, though she seems underused.  Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s lover, is a really good choice and somewhat steals the show sometimes.  Some might remember him playing both Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network” a fact that really impressed me when I discovered it was one guy playing both parts. He is going to go places.
Live from New York it's Saturday Night!

The movie can be subtle sometimes and an interesting character study of Hoover.  However, its plot structure criss crossing all over and not having a central story makes it a mix of unbearably dull at times and confusing at others. I just can’t help thinking that with all the material that there is on the man that we get this confusing and poorly put together movie. We should have gotten something much more interesting and linear.  Here was a man who was arguably one of the most powerful men in American at one time; and they made a movie about him where you couldn’t possibly give a shit.

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