|

J. Edgar (PG) * * * * Mamma’s Boy-Turned FBI Tyrant A Mean Little Man Not Worthy Of Film Bio!

By ALAN SAMUEL

Prepare to learn all about the dirty secrets of one of America’s most powerful men in J.Edgar, a sensational story from Warner Brothers now exposing the truth at Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Cineplex Odeon Theatres around B.C.

Fall and winter are the seasons that Hollywood’s top guns unleash their best work.  Oscar buzz is in the air as studios bring out their most polished product.  Sure to be a contender for best picture of the year is J. Edgar, a sensational look at famed F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover from Warner Brothers. Buzz aside, this is one terrific movie and an effective expose on one of the most powerful men in American history, warts and all.

Acclaimed actor turned director Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry) again shows why he’s one of the world’s best directors even while over the age of 80.  Through a smart back and forth technique we see the rise of the famed government employee first from humble beginnings at the Department of Justice to heading a virtual fiefdom as top law enforcement officer in the country.

Cast in the pivotal role of J. Edgar Hoover is Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic) in another towering performance.  Make-up here plays an integral part of this movie as both J. Edgar and his close friend Clyde Tolson show considerable wear and tear over the years.  Fresh from his triumphant work on The Social Network as one of the true originator’s of Facebook  Arnie Hammer does a fine job playing the “other man” in  the director’s life.  Dealing with gay relationships during this time was tricky and Eastwood brilliantly fashions this story to delve deep into the personal psyche of both men, particularly Hoover.

Another key aspect to Mr. Hoover’s life was his relationship with his mother.  British import Dame Judy Dench (Casino Royale) also gives a strong performance as the caring mom Annie, a figure who truly impacts her son in all sorts of ways.

From a historical standpoint, J. Edgar spans 48 years in the life of a legend. Lead by direction was an obvious motto for Mr. Hoover and DiCaprio conveys a rugged, ruthless determination by a man out to protect the American way of life.  Heaven help anyone trying to get in his way. Key parts o this larger than life figure are revealed in detail with great finesse by Eastwood who, as always, has done his homework here.  Much of the story of this lawman is known and vendettas against Communist and dirty tricks are well explained here in uncanny detail.  Whether you support this man’s techniques or consider him an affront to free speech and/or democracy is debatable.  What can’t be discounted though is for 2 hours and 15 minutes we’re hurled back in time to see how one single lawman managed to harness untold energy to form an unbelievable police investigative unit that truly laid the seeds to forensics, crime fighting and all the CSI type shows so popular these days.

Just the right tempo gives J.Edgar lots of momentum.  And Australian actress Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive) also makes a nice impact as Helen Gandy, a secretary to the director who also seems to have toned down her striking good looks to bear the essence of this humble civil servant serving the ultimate power hungry, crime obsessed control freak.  Expect more than a few Oscar nominations from this star-studded, impeccably acted story that also features pitch perfect atmosphere and a great moody score, another Eastwood the musician trademark.

Comments are closed