Diaries Magazine

Movie Mondays: J. Edgar Reaction

Posted on the 23 April 2012 by Shawndrarussell

Movie Mondays: J. Edgar Reaction

Photo via Unknowncritics.com

I am a big fan of biographies/autobiographies/memoirs. I guess that's the journalist in me, and why I love doing interviews and learning about why people open a business or play in a band. I've also really gotten into historical fiction lately--anything like The Book Thief and Water for Elephants. 
Anyway, I really enjoyed J. Edgar because I had no idea about his life and shaping of the FBI. But, I also liked the emotional analysis of this complicated, conflicted man played solidly by the always great Leonardo DiCaprio
I felt most strongly for Armie Hammer's character, who was in love with J. Edgar and as a result was at Edgar's mercy professionally and personally. Edgar was portrayed somewhat like the repressed cowboy Heath Ledger played in Brokeback Mountain.  The emotional turmoil and self-loathing seeped from DiCaprio and gave a thorough glimpse into Edgar's life.
It dragged at some points, and I definitely got angry at Edgar's treatment of Clyde Tolson for all those years, while denying him a real relationship. His bossiness, control freak-ness, and undercurrent of anger are palpable, and Tolson just puts up with it, even after having a debilitating stroke. 
A touching learning experience that is the best example of how history can be told--sometimes best--by the analysis of one person's worldview. 

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