Review: J. Edgar
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Lucas, Judi Dench, Ed Westwick
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer(s): Dustin Lance Black
Studio: Imagine Entertainment, Malpaso Productions
Genre(s): Drama, Biographical
Release Date: November 3, 2011
Running Time: 137 minutes
Where to begin? This movie was extremely drawn out and boring at times for me, which is something I never thought I would say of a Clint Eastwood movie, let alone a Clint Eastwood movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It is not the acting or the direction, both are very good, quite frankly it is the fact that J. Edgar Hoover was a boring guy, despite being a closet homosexual with an Oedipus complex. The man was so machine-like and sterile that it makes it tough to really invest in his character in the movie.
For the most part, the public knows of his closeted homosexuality, and his incredible abuse of power, but when the movie is based on those things, what is the point of telling a story that people already know about? What disturbed me was the fact that I have studied US History for years, in depth, and I thought I would love this, but found myself checking my watch during the movie. The movie is a bit tough to follow at points, as it is cut like Pulp Fiction on steroids, with past years cutting in with later years, cutting in with J. Edgar dictating his memoir.
The other complaint I have is the makeup, it just didn’t work with Leonardo, he is forever youthful in his face and his voice, and putting on 3 lbs of costume makeup is not going to make me forget who I am really looking at. The same can be said about Armie Hammer who just looks ridiculous in his old man makeup.
Despite the star-studded cast, and a hall of famer directing, the movie is a rare miss for both DiCaprio and Eastwood. I will give it 2 stars simply for the cast, the presentation, and the effort on the casts part, but the story itself gets 1 star.