J. Edgar

J. Edgar

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench
Director: Clint Eastwood
Rating: 3/5

We may not have been in 212 for very long but this is the second high profile biopic that has graced the big screen - and hopes to be one of the Oscar contenders.

And when you see Clint Eastwood team up with Leonardo DiCaprio it is a reason to get excited - but like The Iron Lady before it sadly this really has disappointed.

J. Edgar explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.

As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio) was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.

At 2hrs and seventeen minutes this is a long watch and unfortunately it’s a little too melodramatic for my tastes.

Hoover was one of the darkest and controversial figures in American political history and I don’t think that this aspect was conveyed overly well in the movie.

And while the film does highlight the achievements of Hoover the director never really gets under the skin of this man which is a little disappointing.

Hoover is an intriguing and interesting character that it’s hard to believe that this is such a tedious movie and rather safe movie.

However Leonardo DiCaprio really is its saving grace as he has delivered another great performance - I would have liked to see him tackle the darker side of this political figure.

The personal side of was of Hoover perhaps provided some of the most powerful scenes in the movie as he is depicted as a man who is trying to hide who he really was.

There is almost a sadness to his relationship with Clyde Tolson, played beautifully by Armie Hammer, in the fact that they could never really express what they meant to each other and be together - something that was a real strength of the film.

And while Eastwood may have missed the mark on the depiction of Hoover he didn’t falter when it came to capturing the era - the movie really does look stunning. 

This is the second biopic in a row where the central performance is better than the movie itself and DiCaprio deserves all the praise that he is receiving for his turn.

However J. Edgar is not a movie without interest as there are some entertaining and exciting moments - it’s just a shame that they are so few and far between.

This is not Eastwood’s best work by a long shot but it is worth a watch for DiCaprio’s performance alone.

J. Edgar is out now

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw


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