Bottom Line: Biographical Eastwood/DiCaprio collaboration is spectacular; by far one of the better films made in 2011.
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Armie Hammer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts
Clint Eastwood’s thirty-second feature film as director constitutes another stellar role by big-name actor Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio stars as the title character, John Edgar Hoover, the former FBI director from 1924 to 1935.
Did I mention DiCaprio was great? Oh, yes. He truly was. The thing, though, that ruined J. EDGAR was the excessive use of makeup. So much powder is put on Leo DiCaprio’s and Armie Hammer’s faces when they were drastically transformed into elders, that they looked like zombies. As for the amount of mascara on Armie Hammer’s face for his role as a middle-aged Clyde Tolson, we begin to wonder when he is going to go under spotlights on a stage and start singing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. (No lie!)
The visual feel to this film was quite memorable. Like other period dramas recently made (i.e. THE KING’S SPEECH), the film is thoroughly shown in a gloomy coloring that is quite gray in tone. Therefore, we are left with no other choice but to buy into the idea that Clint Eastwood has done a fantastic job at making the film look like a costume drama. (Which is good–I was expecting something like that from THE HELP, and I did not get my wish from such a colorful film.)
J. EDGAR will most likely not be a big one at the Oscars. If it is, what a shock. As for memorability, that’s a very high chance, and this is a good one to see before it leaves theaters. Even for a biopic, the information given is phenomenal. Bravo, Eastwood and DiCaprio!