I am going to do this review a little differently. Before I recommend you spend 2 hours 17 minutes on a movie I suggest you checkout the Clint Eastwood interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This is where I learned about this film and quickly added it to my Netflix Queue. I was very impressed with this movie like I was with two of his other films, Play Misty for Me (1971) and Gran Torino (2008). Clint is the man. I do not think you can be more American than Clint Eastwood.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
Now my regular review.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this riveting biopic as J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime FBI director as notorious for his overzealous methods of law enforcement as for the rumors regarding his cross-dressing and close relationship with protégé Clyde Tolson.
I have watched many movies over the years and the name “J. Edgar Hoover” has been referenced a lot. A good example of this would be “Public Enemies (2009)” starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Christian Bale played Melvin Purvis who had a strained relationship with J. Edgar. You saw Melvin Purvis’ point of view in Public Enemies, in “J. Edgar” you see Hoover’s. I didn’t care so much for Public Enemies but I almost recommend watching it along with J. Edgar as the stories overlap.
The movie J. Edgar goes back and forth with the beginning of his career to the end. I did not know he played a key role in such things as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories until I watched this film. It was an eye opener.
This film does spend considerable time on his personal life and it is up to the viewer to make up his or her own conclusions. I do believe in watching this J. Edgar Hoover was more romantically interested in other men than women. He took an immediate liking to his protégé Clyde Tolson. Was a romantic relationship ever consummated between the two? I do not think we will ever know for sure.
He did have a difficult relationship with his mother. She was demanding at times as she was his whole life. I did feel sorry for him here. I am just sharing what I saw in this movie as one of my history buff friends hates him.
There is one quality I admire about J. Edgar Hoover. He was a good judge of character and had an excellent brain trust. He trusted both Helen Gandy and Clyde Tolson with everything and they never betrayed him. Were his secret files ever found? Trust is important and it was nice to see it here.
I am giving this movie 4 stars. I might be a little biased as it is a Clint Eastwood movie.
Click here for the Netflix link in case you would like to add it to your queue.
All the best,
The Film Movie Critic