My personal meditations/reflections on films and occasional art exhibitions.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I am a big Clint Eastwood fan but disappointingly J. Edgar is not a very good film. Despite a credible performance by Leonardo Di Caprio - this movie was sentimental, slow and the worst aging make-up job I have ever seen except in a horror movie. You would think that Eastwood who is 80 would realize that when you are in your 60's you do not look like a zombie or burn victim but that is what they did to the actor who played Hoover's long time friend and partner Clyde Tolson. I have to agree with Joe Morgenstern's review in the Wall Street Journal: " Mr. Eastwood's ponderous direction, a clumsy script by Dustin Lance Black and ghastly slatherings of old-age makeup all conspire to put the story at an emotional and historical distance. It's a partially animated waxworks.
The movie was not bad just disappointingly jerky with no emotional tug except in the few scenes showing Hoover's tenderness with Tolson. I realize Eastwood's desire to portray a conflicted son of a powerful mommy who confused her son. Why are Mommies often the psychological screw-up force behind the throne of the powerful? My problem with the film was that I felt Eastwood wanted to span Hoover's 48 years of service to the FBI and regrettably he did so without grace - awkwardly. Also the use of the just barely tinted color (like a toned retouched photo) added to its contrived look. I laughed at "tragic" moments because they were depicted so sentimentally without true sentiment