Movie Review: J.Edgar

10 Dec

I wanted to see J.Edgar eons ago, when it first came out, but for some reason, I was otherwise occupied.  Then the following weekend came and went and it became less and less of a priority.  Well last night, D and I had date night and we finally decided to go see it (after a yummy meal at Buenos Aires restaurant in the LES and a super yummy hot chocolate at Max Brenner in Union Square).  While I didn’t like the movie so much, Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench and Armie Hammer were actually really good in the movie.

So, before I get into why I didn’t like it, I’ll let you know what I did like.  Well first, the acting.   I’m pretty sure we all here are well aware how awesome LD is in his roles.  If you are not too familiar, might I direct you to Inception, Shutter Island and The Departed (just to name some of his recent works!).  I still have yet to see Revolutionary Road but I heard he was pretty awesome in that.  JD is an amazing actress in her own right, who pretty much ensured that no one else will do Queen Elizabeth quite like her ever again.  She played a really small role, but with the few minutes of reel time she had, she made a powerful impact.  You still felt her presence even though she wasn’t on camera.  And lastly Armie Hammer, who played both Winklevoss (WinkleVii…lol!) Twins in the Social Network.  He pretty much fell into that same role, but had a bit more emotion in certain scenes that require it not to mention his excellent portrayal of an elderly Clyde Tolsen.  And while a movie is generally made up of its cast, that really sums up about ALL I liked about the movie.

So what I didn’t like: For one, the movie timeline was chopped AND screwed making for an uneven flow and a very confusing plot.  This is not like Inception where you weren’t too sure what level of consciousness you were in.  It was moreso that not enough time was spent on each scene making for half-stories while lead to a muddled plot line.  Before you even had time to devour what happened, the movie moved on to some time in the present or past.  Ok??  For the second part, I think the Director took a little too much liberty with historical fiction and dabbled more into the fiction rather than the history.  Which is fine.  Titanic was awesome more because of the nudie drawings than of the crashing ship.  However, the entire story of Titanic was still able to be detailed in the movie.  Hoover was a pretty private guy as far as I’m aware, so there really wasn’t too much that could be said or known about him.  Does the public want to know more?  I’m sure there’s a segment of society that does, but if you want to mass market a film on someone like J.Edgar, I think it would behoove you (PUN TOTALLY INTENDED!) to rely more on history and less on fluff.  Fine, cater to the insinuations of his homosexuality/cross-dressing, but don’t leave out the uncovering of his illegal works, the desecration of his name, and what the FBI became after his death.  Ok, they didn’t completely leave those out, but they were complete afterthoughts.  After 2 hours and 17 minutes, I felt like the only thing you came away with was the fact that he was a closet homosexual, but he was so much more!

Now that I think of it maybe the movie was supposed to mirror the enigma that was J.Edgar?  Nah, that would be giving the film wayy too much credit!

That said, this was one of Clint Eastwood’s worst movies.  Leo was on point (not better, not worse), but Armie Hammer will definitely get noticed for his work on this film!  I wouldn’t recommend seeing this movie, much more PAYING to see this movie.  If you must see this movie, remember to take it all with a grain of salt as Eastwood preferred to dabble in speculation rather than fact.

Did you guys see J.Edgar?  Thoughts?

-A

Photo Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Edgar

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