J. Edgar Hoover (2011)

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, Adam Driver

This is one of the less talked about films in DiCaprio’s filmography. His performance was praised, and the movie is directed by one of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors in Clint Eastwood. I would have to say that I liked it but mainly because of DiCaprio’s performance. 

The movie is a biographical film on the life and career of J. Edgar Hoover, who was the director FBI for 37 years. He is credited with making the FBI a larger agency and modernizing police technology (Wikipedia, 2019). Now he is looked like a controversial figure as evidence has surfaced that he abused his powers to intimidate others including Presidents of the United States. In the film, we see where he started and how he rose to become such a powerful figure and remain for so long as the head of the FBI. It also explores his complicated relationship with his mother, his sexuality and his work. 

I found the movie very interesting, but that is because I love biographical films. I knew of J. Edgar through documentaries that focus on those times and there was another movie where he is featured, the movie was Public Enemies with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. I even heard his name is documentaries about John Lennon as Richard Nixon tried to get him deported and the FBI was part of the process against him. In the movie Hoover is portrayed as being homosexual and that he had a relationship with his Associate Director. But that is something that is speculated and some say it happened others deny the affair ever happened. But in the film is one of the main plot lines, his relationship and coming to terms with it. 

Leonardo DiCaprio once again gives a great performance, and I chose to include this film as we look at his career because even though the film itself is not one of his best, I do think he gave a great performance. He has a good supporting cast in Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, and Armie Hammer. 

If you are a fan of Leo’s work, it is a good movie to see, but it’s not recommended for everyone.  


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