Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover, film J. Edgar touches on aspects of the career, motivations, and character of one of the most enigmatic figures in 20th century America.
Narrated from the man's own point of view, J. Edgar follows the life of J. Edgar Hoover from his early 20's to his death almost 60 years later. Background details of his two supportive aides, such as his failed proposal to secretary Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts) as well as an unspoken for relationship with promising young lad Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) are also highlighted in the film as they accomplish several notable investigations and last through eight presidents together.
Notable scenes from history through the eyes of J. Edgar include the anti-communist movement as he removes those of opposing views by deportment which led to his appointment as the head of the new Bureau of Investigation; he dirts up dirt on notable politicians; as well as his putting down of Rev. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement. All these played out well by a brilliant DiCaprio but, with so many shown yet not concluded, to love or hate his character, it is left entirely up to the individual audience.
A history lesson packed into a film, albeit packed too much into little over two hours, J. Edgar is a film teachers would love to use as a visual introduction to the man and history buffs to affirm or rebut facts just for fun.