'J. Edgar' Shockya.com Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer (‘The Social Network’), Naomi Watts and Judi Dench
Preserving your place in history and protecting your reputation while maintaining your privacy is important to many people, particularly those in the government and the public spotlight. But the rise of fame and struggle to hold onto power often leads people to question the intentions of those around them. Such is the case with the FBI’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover, as seen in the new biographical drama ‘J. Edgar,’ directed by Clint Eastwood. While only a select few understand the struggles of being the director of the FBI, many viewers will surely understand the feeling of testing loyalties, both at home and in their private lives.
‘J. Edgar’ chronicles the rise, and later professional and personal lives, of the FBI leader (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). As the head of the government agency for nearly 50 years, through eight presidents and three wars, Hoover often bent the rules and exaggerated to protect his country. Hoover placed great value in keeping secrets, and wasn’t afraid to use what he knew to maintain authority over leading figures in America.
In his later years, Edgar relayed his life story to Agent Smith (portrayed by Ed Westwick), including the loyalty he expected from those closest to him, such as his colleague and companion, Clyde Tolson (played by Armie Hammer), and secretary, Helen Gandy (portrayed by Naomi Watts). Edgar also relayed the importance of the investigation into the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., his distrust of Richard Nixon and most importantly, his endless quest to please his mother, Anna Marie (played by Judi Dench).
‘J. Edgar’ screenwriter Dustin Lance Black crafted an intriguing, emotional look into the personal aspects of Hoover’s highly-guarded life. While the FBI director was a well-known public figure during his life, he rarely allowed the public see the intimate interactions that formed his closest relationships. Black found the right balance of not only showing Hoover’s determination of winning the public’s support and admiration, but also his struggle to feel loved and protected at home.
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