The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Website and Group Contact: dalscreenings@gmail.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

J.Edgar




J. Edgar is a good film surrounding one of the best performances of the year, but sadly it falls just shy of greatness. This is not to say that this is not a wonderful biopic that you should go right out and see (it is), it's just upsetting because I genuinely believe that in the hands of a director like Oliver Stone,Martin Scorsese, or Gus Van Sant this would have been a masterpiece. However, Clint Eastwood's very laid back style of directing seems ill suited for a biopic of this length and depth, but let's not dwell on what might have been because what we got is pretty damn good.

The screenplay here, written by Dustin Lance Black (Academy Award Winner for the brilliant Milk), is outstanding in the way it moves through 60 years of a mans life without ever really losing track of a forward moving narrative structure. Some may argue with the episodes in Hoover's life that Black chooses to cover, but it's undeniably impressive in its outline of such a complex figure. Now, there is no way to really describe this along the lines of plot, but basically we are following the exploits of J. Edgar Hoover as dictated by himself. This goes from about 1919 until his passing in May of 1972. In this we concentrate on his transformation of the FBI, his intelligent calculations on the importance of forensic evidence, his involvement in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, his obsessions with communism, and his repressed life long love affair with his partner Clyde Tolson (played terrifically by Armie Hammer).

All of these things work in their own way, but the heart of the film is the repressed romance. The chemistry between DiCaprio and Hammer is very good. So good that you can feel a lot just by the way that they stare at each other without words. I would have actually preferred more of this as it is the one aspect of this film that really matches Eastwood's directorial style (although he's got to stop scoring his own movies because they only hurt these films).

At the end of the day, none of this matters without a Hoover we can relate too (a difficult thing to do with such a cold character) and DiCaprio is so good in this movie it's kind of astonishing. He obviously invested a ton of time into getting every little gesture and move down, but also preserve a certain humanity all his own. He is not just mimicking this figure. He becomes Hoover, and very early on you forget the actor all together. It's a masterful performance that should land him his fourth Academy Award nomination come early next year and hopefully if viewers can embrace this film, despite its flaws, he might even win.

Review by Nathan Ligon
Thank You for Watching



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