peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2012 03 17 JEdgar

J. Edgar

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Clint and Leo embark on an ill-advised Oscar-baiting Hoover biopic. The result is a bit tedious and lacks the moral conundrum that Clint strives for in his directing efforts; it's not exactly hagiography but it's not real either. The best law enforcement outfit in the world, circa 1950? I'd have given that to the Stasi or the K.G.B... and the focus on the child abduction case that gave the F.B.I. it's teeth is nowhere as cutting as the allusions to Hoover's meddling with the civil libertarians in the 1960s, which really deserved a fuller treatment.

I can't help but think he does a better job with a smaller budget (Grand Torino) and something pointed to say. This is ultimately entirely banal, even if we leave Leo out of it.

Denby got into it for the New Yorker as did Dana Stevens at Slate.