Lite’s Review Room – Weekend Movies: J. Edgar & Immortals

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The holiday season is upon us.  No we haven’t switched 103.7 Lite FM to Christmas music yet, so it’s not completely upon us, but you can feel it. (and listen to Christmas Music Online Right Now!) With the holidays traditionally come good movies.  And this year is no exception.  We’ve got an Oscar buzz movie and movie from the creators of 300.

Our Queen of the Silver Screen, Julie Fisk, will kick things off:

J. Edgar

“J. Edgar” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the first director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. Rumors have run wild about J. Edgar Hoover since he became the first director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, which later became the FBI.

[photogallerylink id=61474 align=left]Stories of his homosexuality, cross-dressing and an African American Grandfather are now such a part of American lore, it’s hard to tell what is true and what is false.

Director Clint Eastwood takes some of the more famous rumors and run with them, so J. Edgar the movie is not just a historical retrospective, but also a love story. Yes, a love story that is often more intriguing than the very dry retelling of Hoover’s biggest FBI moments.

There are some truly wonderful scenes between J Edgar and his friend Clyde Tolson, but they’re completely made up! No one will ever know if there was a tearful loving exchange between these men, so my favorite scenes in J. Edgar were sadly not authentic.

Also, since we follow Hoover from his youth all the way to his death, there’s a great deal of make-up used to make the actors age. It works fantastically for Leonardo DiCaprio but it makes Armie Hammer, who plays Tolson, look like he is wearing an uncomfortable old-man mask.  I was also disappointed that more time was not spent on Hoover’s work with forensics. It’s surprising too, given the recent interest in forensic sciences.

That said, DiCaprio does a fantastic job showing various emotional layers of Hoover, making him almost sympathetic at times, and that’s why I’m giving “J. Edgar” a B. In fact, I’ll be shocked if Leo doesn’t get another Oscar nomination for this one.

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