Tony Toscano Reviews J. Edgar
Updated: 11/10/2011 10:53 am | Published: 11/10/2011 10:53 am
Certainly both Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio will be considered for their work in “J. Edgar,” the new biopic about the life and times of FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover.
The film is meticulous in its presentation and the acting is solid.
The biggest problem I had with the film is it’s about 20 years too late getting into theaters. And perhaps most of today’s audiences will let this one go by due to its somber subject matter and slow pace.
The story begins at the end as Hoover begins to dictate his memoirs and as he tells his story, the camera takes us back and forth from past to present as if we are part of Hoover’s memory moving along with him as his recollections ebb and flow.
The camera uses faded and muted tones of color and black and whites, to gently inform the viewer of where they are in Hoover’s time line. This use of shadow and contrast brings an unexpected dimension to the film underscoring the plot.
As I mentioned in my opening words, Clint Eastwood will most likely garner another Academy nomination for calling the shots in this film. Eastwood seems to enjoy bringing the past to life and has a master’s touch when it comes to this kind of storytelling.
Leonardo DiCaprio offers up an Oscar-worthy performance as Hoover and is reminiscent (at least to me) of Orson Wells’ performance as Charles Foster Kane in “Citizen Kane.”
“J. Edgar” is a great example of how to balance performance with substance.
It gets an A and is rated R for brief strong violence.
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