"When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. Society unwilling to learn to from the past is doomed. We must never forget our history. We must never lower our guard.
The first trailer for Clint Eastwood and Leonardo Dicaprio's new movie J. Edgar is nothing less than serious. A bold serious, because, like Eastwood's recent directorial efforts—Hereafter, Invictus, Gran Torino—the short spot goes to great lengths to stress the importance of the story it's telling. The movie doesn't appear to ask for your interest, it demands it.
J. Edgar chronicles the life of the famed FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who ran the government agency for over 50 years. While Hoover commanded the FBI with great diligence, it's well-known that the man was full of secrets of his own—some which could have ruined his reputation.
The man's life sounds like a thrilling story, but even with powerhouse acting talent like Dicaprio, The Social Network's Armie Hammer, Judi Dench and trailer no-shows Ed Westwick, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney and Stephen Root, Eastwood's film doesn't appear to have the resonance necessary for a sprawling biopic. What's the emotional through-line here? I felt the same way about Hereafter and Invictus. On the surface, they're great dramatic tales—but underneath, they're hollow.
I hope J. Edgar is a surprise. The film's already being touted as an awards contender, but the buzz could easily fizz out when the movie fails to live up to that hype (see the lifespan of Hereafter as evidence). But I'm a man who thinks Dicaprio can do no wrong, so I'm ready and willing for his Hoover—who he plays from sprite young enforcer to elderly, broken man—to sweep me up and win me over.
Check out the first trailer from the movie below (or watch it in HD at Apple) and see if you catch any indication that J. Edgar will be a great film that I may have missed: