J EdgarDirector: Clint Eastwood, Warner Bros, Rated MA, 137 mins
J Edgar Hoover, who was the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, was feared and admired as well as reviled and revered.
During his period in office he was ‘untouchable’ due to his collection of personal files which held many secrets on every US President (until his death in 1972) and others including himself that would have destroyed his career, image and his life.
Now legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood has provided an incredible insight into this larger than life character through his brilliant biopic on the enigmatic public figure who is acknowledged as the architect of today’s modern FBI.
Sensitively written for the screen by academy award winning script writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and powerfully portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception), J Edgar shows snippets of his childhood especially his “mummy’s boy” relationship with his doting mother Anna Marie (James Bond’s Judy Dench), his ruthless rise in the then Bureau of Investigation and his gay relationship with agent Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer - The Social Network).
At the same time Eastwood’s fascinating storyline reveals what an extremely insecure individual Hoover was, who only had three main relationships in his life-his mother, Tolson and his personal private secretary Helen Gandy (wonderfully performed by Aussie actor Naomi Watts - Fair Game), besides being completely obsessed with control and his ego.
Eastwood’s insightful interpretation of the controversial life of J. Edgar Hoover is filled with many highlights including his exchanges with such political figures as Attorney General Bobby Kennedy and President Richard Nixon but it is DiCaprio’s stand-out performance (not to mention the remarkable resemblance) including those from Dench and Watts that makes this movie an entertaining experience and deserving of a Best Actor Award for DiCaprio.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
Young AdultDirector: Jason Reitman, Paramount Pictures, Rated MA, 94 mins
Oscar winner Charlize Theron (Monster) demonstrates once again what an accomplished actress she is with her powerful portrayal of a divorced fiction writer who returns to her home town of Mercury, Minnesota, hoping to rekindle her relationship with an ex-boyfriend who is now married with a newborn daughter.
Director Jason Reitman teams up again with his Juno writer Diablo Cody in presenting the surreal story of a young woman who is alcoholic, delusional and prone to depression.
After realising that her life is going nowhere in Minneapolis, 37 year old Mavis Gary (Theron) packs up her things and heads to Mercury, believing her former boyfriend Buddy Slide (Patrick Wilson - Morning Glory) is prepared to renew their romantic ties despite being told by former school friend Matt (Patton Oswalt - A Very Harold and Kumar
Christmas) that he is in fact happily married and unavailable. Unfortunately for Mavis she learns the hard way.
Despite Theron’s strong portrayal and Oswalt’s performance as Mavis’ friend and drinking companion, Reitman has been unable to maintain the pace expected from such a depressing storyline with an ending that appears as an anti-climax to Mavis’ delusional and haphazard behaviour.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
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