Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Directed by Clint Eastwood (who also supplied the music!) and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this biopic may not be what you expected, but it certainly held my attention and I found the history it included quite fascinating. I can remember, for instance, the Lindbergh kidnapping. As for J. Edgar's personal life, well, he was obviously a tortured soul, under the domain of his (I need an adjective here, but domineering is the only one I can think of) mother, whom he adored, played by the inimitable Judi Dench. This film co-starring handsome young Armie Hammer as his "constant companion" shows Hoover's determined, and certainly sincere (although obsessively fanatic) dedication to preventing crime and radical, communistic influences in America, his avowed 'mission." A power-hungry man, conflicted in his personal life, trusting hardly anyone, J. Edgar Hoover also wanted to be recognized and revered. Flashbacks are not my favorite thing, but I guess they were necessary to show what shaped the career and life of this controversial head of the FBI. Noteworthy also was the performance of his faithful private secretary, well played by Naomi Watts, who remained loyal to him, no matter what.