Why are there are these horrible reviews? I just saw this movie yesterday and it was utterly fantastic. I'm not the only one that thinks so. The theater was packed with people, mainly from adult to elderly but it was packed non the less. Everyone was clapping at the end of the movie. "J. Edger" tells the story of how the man J. Edger Hoover came to power, and goes into his personal life. Clint Eastwood did a wonderful job at bring this amazing story to life, and his so score was beautiful too. Leonardo DiCabrio was unbelievable. I couldn't believe how fantastic he was. It <more>
was one of the best performances I personally have ever seen. If he dose not win an Oscar for this, it would be just terrible. Everyone else was great too, everyone. And guess what people, the makeup was FANTASTIC! Why people are bashing this movie so much is beyond me. It's not for everyone I'll admit. It's for people with a brain who want to see a piece of art instead of some stupid film like the Immortals.
I will be short on this film because it probably is one of the best by Clint Eastwood.First the actors. They have to cover a whole life and it starts in their early twenties and ends in their late seventies with diseases and death. It is not only a question of special makeup effects but it is a question of deportment, behaviour, rhythm, flexibility, credibility at any age in their facial expressions and their language. It takes time, a lot of training and great talent to do that. If it were easy they would all do it. Very few actually can.Second the institutional subject. The creation of the <more>
FBI. Its transformation from a semi-clandestine agency to a scientific, well trained and very effective and diligent institution. The film is clear how difficult it was to get laws passed and finances granted by Congress. Some of the arguments were opportunistic and some were logical, but they all had only one aim: to get what it needs to become the best. J. Edgar Hoover was in a way irritating in his way to serialize the action of the FBI for the nascent mass-media that the radio and the cinema were becoming. He was extremely disturbing in his umbilical ego-centeredness or ego-centricity. But that was him and the actor is able to render this cold, calculated and very tense character who had a problem with public elocution and had managed to overcome it with an extremely strict discipline.That leads to his action and his vision of the FBI. He was extremely authoritative and manipulative. He never took no for an answer and for him one no was always a disguised and hidden yes. He accumulated information on all the people he could one day depend on, politicians, congressmen and justices or judges, to blackmail them if necessary. He generally had his way and one of his major failures was with Martin Luther King that he could not blackmail into refusing the Nobel Peace Prize. The film is at times on the very verge of being embarrassing, though it only speaks of dead figures because it is dealing with rumors on Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Richard Nixon and a few others. I am not even sure some of the information is not frankly false.But Clint Eastwood is a patriot and he shows the patriotic side of the character with insistence and weight, to the point of reaching bigotry at times, for example on the subject of racism. He built the FBI in the fight against the anarchist and communist movement in the 20s and 30s, against the gangsters of the 20s and Prohibition, against the Germans in the 30s too, without specifying the political innuendo of the national reference in 1934 among Americans questioned by the FBI about someone who had a German accent. No nuance. Clint Eastwood gives his matter raw and uncooked at all.But Clint Eastwood reaches beyond these elements to capture the real personal and intimate dimension of his character. And here he is not using innuendo and allusions. J. Edgar Hoover's relation with his direct deputy is seen as a sentimental relation on the side of the deputy and an emotional relation on the side of J. Edgar Hoover himself. The tremendous condemnation of any gay orientation by his mother creates in him a tremendous struggle due to his attachment to his mother. The truth will come at the very end with a friendly even paternal kiss to his deputy on the night before dying. He will explain how he recruited him because he needed someone and he knew that young man needed a strong paternal figure that he accepted to be.Of course the revelation of the love of that young man for his boss is dramatized by Clint Eastwood, and maybe even too much because that was the intimate and private life of two men who did not reveal anything in public, far from it. But it is done with such delicacy, tenderness. J. Edgar Hoover appears in the film as having compensated the absence of a father figure and the presence of a strong authoritarian mother figure on his side, by playing that father figure with his direct deputy who needed such a father figure. The compensated lack of J. Edgar Hoover became the satisfaction of the need of his deputy. So much alike and yet so different.That personal touch in this film makes the film a lot more fascinating because it speaks of something that may happen to anyone: love is the only thing that survives in life and is stronger than even hatred as J. Edgar Hoover explains as he is climbing the stairs to his bedroom for the very last time in his life.Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
This film has been receiving quite a bit of mixed reviews that I thought I would throw my hat into the ring and explore my own views and experience on what I thought of this film. Well, I loved it! This is my favorite non-animated film this year and I am saddened that there were a good number of people who did not share my movie going experience, but to each his own I suppose.Leonardo DiCaprio really busts out his acting chops in this film, decorated with Eastwood goodies, supported by a strong cast including Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, and Judi Dench. His depiction of Hoover was nothing short <more>
of miraculous, from young to old, he really captured the mysterious and powerful essence that was this iconic figure in American History. Being narrated by Hoover himself, it is very interesting to see how the elements he dictated to the scribe became exaggerated and embellished, while moments that were being remembered or recollected were deeper and in some cases, darker and in others intimate.Eastwood's use of camera tricks and pacing were well placed. One distinct element was the use of camera style coloring and lighting to help assist with the various time periods, from a more sepia inspired younger Hoover to a more colorful, yet faded older Hoover. I also loved how the film paced back and forth one moment comes to mind when they enter the elevator old, and leave it young in a flashback . His simplistic composition really added to the sadness and dramatic elements of the film.Though I won't say that other's criticisms were necessarily wrong, I will say that I disagreed with many of them. Though I understand much of the make-up critiques, example, DiCaprio reminding me a lot of Jon Voight and Hammar a little like the Six Flags dancing old guy, it did not detract me from the film at all. I can very much see many aspects of the film being at the very least nominated, though sadly I don't think there are enough people who care for the film to see it win many of them.Being as it may, I had no complaints about the film and left feeling very satisfied and recommended it to everyone who asked me about it, though they may not share my admiration.
Another one of "how-a-movie-should-be-made" by Mr. Eastwood (by Maleplatypus)
I'm one of those viewers who can not comprehend bad reviews from below. This is an almost perfect movie: excellent performances by the cast, traditional discrete direction by Mr. Eastwood also his ever fantastic music score , emotions, well written script... You name it. Let's clear out one thing: This is NOT primarily a biographic movie but a story of love and devotion. And that's why Mr. Eastwood excels again. If you want a biopic, you can give it to anyone, but if you want an emotional story perfectly told, you give it to Mr. Eastwood. He is an artist par excellence.Highly <more>
recommended to anyone who, after the abundance of Hollywood movie junk, wants to see finally a very very good movie.
Presenting us a hero but not defining hero versus villain (by napierslogs)
"J. Edgar" is worth the hype, the fuss and the wait. I was particularly intrigued by the prospect that it was directed by the older, masculine Clint Eastwood and written by the younger, out-and-proud Dustin Lance Black. I got the biographical story of the FBI leader and I also got the deeply-touching love story of a closeted gay man. Both stories were woven together seamlessly.We jumped around in time, and also a bit in reality, to not just tell us who he was and what he accomplished, but to show us why he was that man. Near the beginning of the film, J. Edgar Hoover Leonardo <more>
DiCaprio makes the comment that it's time to re-clarify the difference between hero and villain. That's definitely what he wanted, but I'd wager that the opposite is closer to what he got.American kids growing up towards the end of Hoover's life seemed to think that they were to regard him as a bad man. Mostly because he did things that most people believe are wrong. But if those wrong actions come from a pure, child-like need of understanding good and evil and wanting good to be celebrated and evil to be punished, is that really so bad? He deeply detested politicians, anarchists and communists. I think he also believed that they were frequently one in the same. But he formed the FBI to protect America from any and all crimes. He cared about appearance, decorum, and respect. Mustaches are bad, well-cut suits are good, and he hired and fired on both accounts.The intimate details of Hoover's life which we probably can't know for sure came to life in the film when Clyde Tolson Armie Hammer walked into his office and was immediately hired. Presumably because he's handsome and knows how to wear a suit. Tolson was shown to be more in touch with his sexuality. With Tolson by his side, the drama was heightened to show all the warring elements within Hoover — how he was raised contradicted with who he actually was and what he believed to be right contradicted with what was actually happening.Leonardo DiCaprio was an impeccable choice to play J. Edgar Hoover from a young man to his dying day at age 77. DiCaprio himself is nearing 40 but still looks the same as when he was a 16 year-old homeless kid on "Growing Pains," and now might be his time for the Oscar. The transformation through all of Hoover's weight gain, hair loss, and infallible belief system was perfect. He showed us the man as he should probably be remembered, and almost as he would like to be remembered.
Well done historical biography film of a complex yet determined man. (by blanbrn)
I must say I for one am a history buff and film fan so it was only a given that I view "J. Edgar" a biopic that tells the history and life and times of FBI head director J. Edgar Hoover, and as most may know Edgar was a complex and different man yet he rose to the top of his game with change as he took on all comers. Director Clint Eastwood the all pro always does a well job with research and history and he highlights J. Edgar with plenty of power struggles in both his professional and private life, Edgar was clearly a mother's boy and most likely a homosexual which he kept very <more>
well hidden.The film mostly told as a biography flashback from J. Edgar's point of view it highlights many of the memorable events from the 1930's thru the 1970's. The kidnapping case of a famous child goes on to propel Hoover to push for the FBI to start a science lab of fingerprinting and investigative techniques of fiber and hair evidence collection. Also Hoover was the man to invent wiretapping and the training he started was top notch having agents with college degrees and they all should be fit and in shape.Aside from all of that most interesting is how Edgar felt that communist and terrorism posed a domestic threat also not just internationally like he told attorney general Robert Kennedy. Hoover as the film showed was also a man with many power struggles as he questioned politics and fought congress to put the national spotlight on federal law enforcement. His secrets of being gay was well hidden from the public as he always tried to focus more on the scandal of politics and new inventions of the agency to occupy the public's mind. Hoover was clearly a mother's boy as he lived with sweet Annie the fantastic Judi Dench . Also interesting and compelling was seeing how Edgar felt that Martin Luther King posed a threat to America. Edgar didn't always play by the rules yet even till his dying death he would outsmart everyone including Richard Nixon by hiding his personal and secret files! Overall this is a well done historical biopic that showcases a complex and different man who still yet fought for justice, freedom, and rights in his own way while being secret with his own life. The makeup work also was top notch as Leonardo Dicaprio maybe his best performance ever was well shown as an old and elderly J. Edgar. As this film proved justice and morals can be obtained your own way. This is one historical biography that any film or history buff should see.
Just got back from a screening in Vancouver~ Thanks to Clint Eastwood, it was almost free only one dollar per ticket I will try to keep my review spoiler-free~Personally, I thought it was a great film. Not exceptional in anyway, but still great. The tone reminds me a bit of Changeling. Makes sense since the stories are from the same period. I have to say, with Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dustin Lance Black all on board, I was kind of expecting something a bit more than this.I thought the weakest link was the script. It was interesting, but flawed. Also, the story was not very <more>
intriguing. Having watched Milk also written by Black and really liked how the story unfolded, I was expecting a great story about how J. Edgar Hoover rose to power and how he gradually transformed into the monster he became in the end. But instead, the story was told by shifting back and forth in time countless times, which at some point made me feel emotionally detached from the story and the characters. The bad bad makeup I guess we can all agree on that~ was also very distracting. The elderly characters looked like wax figures to me.That said, I really LOVED Eastwood's score. It was moving and really fit the mood of the film. His direction and camera-work were masterful as always. Leo was very convincing as J. Edgar, although I keep on seeing bits and pieces of Howard Hughes in his performance. Judi Dench and Naomi Watts were both great, however the same thing can not be said about Armie Hammer. I thought he was much better in The Social Network. There were a few good moments between him and Leo, but his performance as the elderly Clyde Tolson was darn right awful. I blame the horrible makeup.As for the Oscars, this film will get a few nominations, but I doubt that it would become a strong contender. Though Leo's performance was not without its flaws, I thought it was more than enough to secure his leading actor nomination. Nods for best art direction, best cinematography and best score are also quite possible. This film had the potential to become a masterpiece, but fell short of my expectations mainly due to the uneven script. While far from being one of his best, it is nevertheless a welcome addition to Eastwood's portfolio.8/10
The infamous words spoken by Pilate to Jesus of Nazareth come to mind when one ponders the life of John Edgar Hoover. Was he a genius or a tyrant? A patriot or a dictator? A cross dresser or an uptight man with no sex life? Nobody knows for certain, and director Clint Eastwood does not offer a definitive answer to any of these questions, which is exactly as it should be. Life is rarely cut-and-dried, but moviegoers seem to have forgotten that fact in the face of media that state speculation as fact on a regular basis.I find it not only surprising, but distressing, that a major criticism from <more>
those critics who panned the film is the lack of closure on Hoover's private life. Unless they are truly obtuse, they must realize that no film could possibly do such a thing, since his files were destroyed at his own bidding. All is speculation, and a fine speculation it is. Leonardo DiCaprio is superb as usual in the title role, never revealing more cards then he chooses to at any given moment. He receives fine support from Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson, Hoover's Second in Command/Rumored Lover, and Naomi Watts as his endlessly loyal private secretary Helen Gandy. At a time when "red fever" ran high, Hoover's relentlessly tightening control on government investigations is shown in flashbacks that only underscore how supreme power can corrupt even the noblest of intentions.In the end, the film answers none of the questions that seem so important to the very critics that disliked it, but in my humble opinion, a well made film is one that inspires debate or discussion rather than simply hand down a definitive 'this is the way it was' with an imperious gavel. With "J Edgar", Eastwood and his cast have succeeded well.
Eastwood's Most Under-appreciated Film (by salesgab)
Clint Eastwood's boldness and creativity paid off in this excellent portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover's life. A project like that is not pulled off by just anyone, and the fact that a film like that was even made shows the importance of Clint Eastwood. His direction was marvelous, by the way, showing without fear the dark side of the FBI director, but also showing all the good aspects of this very interesting subject. Leonardo DiCaprio is another great reason to watch the film, in one of the most moving performances in his career. His portrayal of a Hoover both ruthless and emotionally <more>
vulnerable was superb, and he has excelled once again in studying the character. The make up must also be praised for allowing DiCaprio to portrayal Hoover in many different stages of his life. J. Edgar, if not Clint's best work, is a very interesting and moving film, and the fact that it is so under-appreciated is a mystery to me.