Friday, March 2, 2012

J. Edgar

This movie, shot by Clint Eastwood, tells us about the ins and outs of J. Edgar Hoover – played by Leonardo DiCaprio -, founder of the FBI, and director of the bureau for over 48 years.
The story takes the form of a told story, where mr. Hoover himself dictates his “memoires” to a young FBI agent. The story takes the viewer back to several important events in Hoovers life as director of the FBI, including the founding of the Bureau, the arrests of several gangsters, the fight against the communists and radicals, and (most importantly) the kidnapping and murder of the son of Charles Lindbergh, one of the most powerful men in the U.S. during that time.

J. Edgar Hoover was (and is) a man, both revered and despised by the public. His controversial ways of handling things often bordered on the limits moral correctness. Many a man would think twice before making the end the sole justification of the needs, and he kept many secrets of his own. Eastwood very much succeeds in creating such situations here, where the viewer is almost torn between what is just, and what is needed to create that justice.
On the personal side of the story, where mr. Hoover is 'fighting' his gay tendencies and appearing as a well-adapted person (according to himself, and his mother) during that time, I found that 'struggle' sometimes a bit exaggerated. It came across quite artificial, and not really stroking with his character. The effort to give the character of J. Edgar Hoover a more 'human' face didn't work for me.
Though the several flashbacks in time are brought to the viewer in a very clever fashion, it happens all the time, making the movie sometimes very confusing and hard to follow. This film would have been at least as good, and probably better, if the scenario was 'trimmed' a bit.

About the acting, it surprised me not to see Leonardo DiCaprio nominated for the oscar of best actor, because he does an astonishing job in capturing the ambiguous morality of mr. Hoover. Whether or not one agrees with some of the things happening in the movie, DiCaprio succeeds in bringing those things in such a fashion, it seems logical what mr. Hoover did. To me, that is a sign of a truely amazing acting performance.

To conclude: this was an interesting biographic movie that definitely makes you think, with an amazing acting performance by DiCaprio, but a little too much information at once and sometimes difficult to follow.

IMDb: J. Edgar 

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