J. Edgar

November 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

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While not quite the triumph of a film like “Letters from Iwo Jima,” this is still the best mainstream drama of the year.  DiCaprio gives a remarkably nuanced performance as Hoover.  Many of you know that I have had my doubts about his acting ability.  In everything since Titanic (with the exception of “Revolutionary Road”), I haven’t felt like I was seeing acting, so much as posing.  However, this film reminds me of what I saw in “This Boy’s Life,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “Basketball Diaries,” and “Revolutionary Road” and what I don’t feel like I have seen since: vulnerability.  DiCaprio was present in a way I haven’t found him to be, even in great films like “Gangs of New York” and “The Departed.”  The story of Hoover’s life-long “love relationship” (if you can call it that) with Clyde Tolson was, by itself, reasonably interesting, as was the story of how the FBI was built.  However, the reason to see the film is for the strength of DiCaprio’s performance.

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