Written by Dustin Lance Black
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Leonard Dicaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Judi Dench
Annie Hoover: Edgar, I would rather have a dead son than a daffodil for a son.
Considering Clint Eastwood has lived to witness most of what he chooses to depict in his J. Edgar Hoover biography, simply titled J. EDGAR, it is an awful shame that so much of it feels lifeless and false. Eastwood’s Hoover accomplishes great things, like taking fingerprint technology nationwide and forensic science to new heights, but he does so with very little fanfare, subsequently inspiring even less interest in his audience. Fortunately, incredible performances by Leonardo Dicaprio and Armie Hammer, as the notorious FBI director and his rumoured romantic partner of many years, Clyde Tolson, elevate the picture high enough to overshadow the drab, washed out stiffness of Eastwood’s former America. Dustin Lance Black’s script is smart not to focus solely on Hoover’s sexuality, but unfortunately, the film only truly comes alive when it does.