“J Edgar”

Pretty good make-up job on Leonardo (as real picture of J. Edgar on left suggests,) but “Oh, Lord, poor Arnie Hammer who played Clyde Tolson.”



Oh, Clint, what could you be thinking?  I mean,  I was so excited to see the movie you recently directed, “J. Edgar” from the moment it was first advertised. 

After all, what could be better, considering Leonardo DiCaprio (of “Titanic” and “Gangs of New York” fame)  plays the complex character, J. Edgar?  I still recall his brilliance in the biopic “The Aviator” (reprised recently in TV-land) where he played the reclusive billionaire Howard Huges, nailing every pecadillo and idiosyncrasy of the man. 

Then, again, there’s your own consummate directing talent, as was evident in “Million Dollar Baby” and “Gran Torino,” two more of my all-time favorite movies.

So, I had every reason to believe “J. Edgar” would be a shoo-in for all sorts of awards.  Sadly, it failed miserably.

The most ghoulish aspect that took center-stage was the botched makeup of Clyde Tolson (Arnie Hammer), Hoover’s lifelong partner, as he aged. This was similarly mentioned in the movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes (a reviewer called it ‘cheesy.’). It wasn’t just poor–it was comedic, and it diminished all else.

It could have been a Saturday Night Live parody.

As I walked out of the movie, I asked a couple beside us what they thought.  The man answered:  “That’s Oscar material…I think there’ll be several given out for this one.”  I held back, not wishing to dash his delight, as I inwardly thought:  “Perhaps for a movie in the horror genre but never for a docudrama about the life of America’s number #1 crime fighter.”

But what do I know? (I would’ve never given the Oscar to Nicholas Cage for his portrayal of that stumbling drunk in “Leaving Las Vegas” so many years ago.)

No, I‘m no critic but this movie merely gives anyone the creeps who’s heading for the category of “older” (and that’s most of America’s population)  for what it portends:  bleak, stumbling, ghoulish folks walking about with an almost-Frankenstein gait, looking anemically-pale.

Oh, the story line’s interesting enough…It’s just the bad make-up that takes center stage.

But don’t take my unschooled word for it.  Go and see it yourselves and then weigh in, telling us what you think:  “Is this one of DiCaprio’s finest?” “Did Eastwood achieve what he set out to do?” 

Or do you agree that the make-up made the aging characters appear ludicrous? (And, just watch–“J.Edgar” will take home the Oscar for “Best Make-up,” causing me to doubt my own sensibilities, as in:  “Why don’t I ever agree with the supposed experts?”)



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A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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