Clint Eastwood is known for his amazing works of art: writing, acting, directing, and even whistling. With such classic films such as Mystic River, Dirty Harry, and Gran Torino under his belt, it's truly wonderful to see him continue his beautiful storytelling. J. Edgar is another one of his beautiful stories.
I wasn't sure what to expect going in at first. I know the movie is directed by Clint Eastwood, and I highly respect him and his work. It's interesting to see him working with the screenplay, which is written by Dustin Lance Black (the writer of Milk.) Seeing as it is based off of the true story of J. Edgar Hoover, I was more than ready to see a darkly-lit, soft-spoken movie with bigger-than-life characters. J. Edgar contains all of this and then some.
The first thing you notice is how brilliantly the story flows, even when jumping through time. One minute, we have a young J. Edgar, the next cut and he's old again. It doesn't confuse you or throw you off and keeps you hanging on to the story by creating this new sense of diversity that I haven't seen in a movie in some time. The editing is superb.
All of the shots in the movie are beautiful, but even that's an understatement. The hard lighting really helps bring out the way they crafted Leonardo DiCaprio to look as J. Edgar, which he does wonderfully might I add. Add to this the great music that is in the background and you've got a winning deal. Oh, and Clint Eastwood also does the music. How awesome is that?
The make-up looks great on most of the characters. J. Edgar looks just as he does in pictures, but one character was off. Armie Hammer plays Clyde Tolson, who is the best friend / companion for J. Edgar. Clyde Tolson's older character looks as if he has a mask on. The make-up was very weird to look at, and didn't seem that believable. There were little wrinkles and something was just off about it. Every other character more than made up for this, though, especially Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover.
The acting was really great and I see no reason to complain. After all, there are really talented actors and actresses all under the eye of Clint Eastwood. Everyone gave a very solid, convincing performance.
In all, the movie was really great. It did push some time limits, coming in at almost two hours, but it is worth every second. Solid performances and a beautiful story make J. Edgar more of an experience than a movie.
Here's our breakdown. We wouldn't want to file this one away:
Artistic Style / Feel: It's very darkly-lit but keeps true to the time period. It almost seems like it is a "now" story, even though being put in the 1930s. The make-up could have used a little work on Armie Hammer's character, Clyde Tolson.
Soundtrack: Inspirational and story-telling in itself. Great compositions from Clint Eastwood; the soundtrack really helps empower the story.
Acting: The characters were larger than life and still felt true. Jaw-droppingly accurate acting on everyone's part.
Direction: Clint Eastwood keeps the movie going great. He has an amazing feel for stories.
Replay Value: Moderately High. While I enjoyed the movie, it does run rather long. It's still a great film and will be watched again.
Overall Quality / Score: 9.6 Almost everything about the film was inspiring and amazing. The make-up really threw me off, especially for such an important character. The run time for the film is also a little long.
Have you seen / will you see J. Edgar? What do you think of the movie? Tell us in the comments!