Director: Clint Eastwood Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench Running time: 137 mins
Subject: Dramatic highlights of nearly fifty years in the life of the FBI’s longest serving director. J Edgar (DiCaprio) battles crime, bureau naysayers and his own desire to get it on with close friend and professional servant, Clyde Tolson (Hammer). For the most part, admirably straight regarding J Edgar’s murky carrying ons, Eastwood gets a bit creative when it comes to imagining the contents of Edgar’s never-recovered personal files.
Making a clean breast: My prime motive for watching this sprawling biopic was the possibility that my teenage self’s number 1. crush would copulate wildly with a Winklevoss twin from The Social Network. This created a slight climate of impatience when sitting through the stuff about founding fingerprint technology and blackmailing presidents although looking back it was all very informative.
Do they get it on? Judi Dench declares, as her repressed son attempts to out himself, that she would rather he was, “dead than a daffodil”. For all his flaws, J Edgar has a lot of respect for mama so this pronoucement horribly damages the chances of sexy time. Still, there is one profoundly enjoyable scene that takes place when Clyde and John share an adjourning suite…
Like: The West Wing with distracting prosthetics and twanging accents.
Core truth: J Edgar’s loyal secretary Miss Gandy shredded the truth.