Monday, February 6, 2012

The Life of a Man In Three Acts

Even though this is a rather standard biopic film, Clint Eastwood tackles his subject material in terms of presenting an unbiased, objective and largely strictly observant means of detailing the life and times of one J. Edgar Hoover, a man who ran the FBI with an iron fist for decades. This film's strongest asset lies in its great cast, especially with the two leads: Leonard DiCaprio
and Armie Hammer, both which play off of each other pretty well, which is good considering that Hammer plays J. Edgar's lifelong lover and confident.

Compared to other Clint Eastwood movies, this one does have his usual color schemes and cinematography. Its merely solid at best overall, since most of the movie goes through J. Edgar's life in flashback mode. DiCaperio gives a really honest, stark performance which elevates the at times flat material, and one of the scenes with him and Hammer fighting is powerful since its clear that two lovers are going at it. Really the problem here is that Eastwood has made much better movies, plus the film really does not go more deeper into Hoover, a problem which happens in too many biopics anyways. Still, Eastwood's good as usual directing, too, makes this film more engaging than it really had any business being.

Well that and the fact that really we did not need an entire movie to tell most of us what we already know: that Hoover, the keeper of so many secrets, was an overbearing manipulative control freak. Possibly even a racist, to boot, and that its ironic how near the end of his life that he was unable to really maintain control over most of his life, and so many things that lay outside the gross amount of governmental power he obtained during his lengthy FBI career. 80

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