Have You Seen J. Edgar ? Neither Have We. Here’s Our Review.
Every year Clint Eastwood seems to have the Oscar for Best Methodically Paced Picture Bordering On Boring in a veritable smash. So it’s great to see the ex-Mayor of Carmel, CA kicking caution to the curb with his latest coulda-easily-been-waaaay-too-serious biopic, J. Edgar , a queer-tastic period musical that finds Director Dirty Harry channeling his inner John Waters. If you thought those little Tommy Lee Jones/Kevin Bacon dress up scenes in Oliver Stone’s JFK should have been extended, then this is the unstuffy Cold War-era cinematic saga for you.
READ THE REST OF J. EDGAR – THE IRRESPONSIBLE MOVIE REVIEW… AFTER THE JUMP…
Leonardo DiCaprio shines (and glitters) in the title role as FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, who history (a/k/a, the Internet) tells us was a power hungry, misguided patriot and closeted homosexual mama’s boy that vented his frustrations by trying to destroy the Kennedys, MLK, the Black Panther party, and anybody else in his path. But you won’t find an iota of personal turmoil in Clint n’ Leo’s liberated portrayal of the infamous top cop. J. Edgar dares to imagine Hoover as J. Ed- gay – happily free from being forced to live a lie in the public eye. No longer quite as preoccupied with suppressing liberal political agendas, he and his top lieutenant/lover Clyde Tolson spend their days only occasionally abusing federal law enforcement powers, and mostly shopping and working out together, redecorating the tony Georgetown loft they co-inhabit, and attending the hottest Broadway shows during long weekends in the Big Apple. They also intermittently burst into the film’s own dynamic collection of original tunes. In an Oscar worthy turn, DiCaprio delivers the best of these – “You Have the Right to Remain Silent (But Come Out Instead),” “These Binoculars Were Made For Peepin’,” and “Nuthin’ But a G-Man Thang” (all composed by the great Elton John, with additional “raps” penned by Drake) – like a seasoned pro, making the kids from Glee seem like just some gay-acting kids who can kind of sing.
Eastwood exhibits an even defter hand for mixing political intrigue and laughs when a hilarious “Secret Santa” office party mix-up that suggests communist infiltration in the Bureau has Hoover really seeing red. It all climaxes in a screwball sequence of mistaken Kennedys during a New Year’s Eve costume party run amuck worthy of the Marx Brothers (or in this case, Sisters). To quote MF Doom, it’s like a leotard-fest. But ultimately, one that provides plenty of food for thought: Specifically, how much anguish and drama could the world have avoided if, as Fat Joe recently implored , gays were just allowed to be gay (and in J. Edgar Hoover’s case, not be a frustrated but powerful gay asshole who made life miserable for everyone else, including the Civil Rights movement)? Ponder that the next time your boss yells at you a little too angrily.