J. Edgar is the biopic of J. Edgar Hoover the legendary FBI director who served as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1924 until his death in 1972. He worked under eight different presidents and he was considered to be the second most powerful man in the country. Over the course of his tenure, he single handedly built the FBI into an intimidating operation feared by both gangsters and law-abiding citizens. The couple was outed posthumously by New York socialite Susan Rosentiel.
This movie uncovers skeletons in J. Edgar Hoover’s closet. Rumors about his sexuality were commonplace throughout his life specially after he died and his estate went to his longtime friend Clyde Tolson. Tolson also worked for the FBI.The movie portrayed him as a closeted gay: he is gay but celibate. He was in love with Tolson but he did not act on it. He had no problem exposing skeletons in other people’s closets but went to great lengths to hide his own relationship with Tolson which lasted for over 40 years.
He was portrayed as a mama’s boy. He lived with his mother Annie for most of his life. He feared her mother’s wrath. Her mother Annie told him “I’d rather have a dead son than a daffodil son” when she sensed that her son is gay.
The movie avoided taking a position on his sexuality but it painted a clear picture of him as a paranoid and vindictive person. Most of the people around him feared him because of the secret files he kept on them. He directed his agents to spy not only on crooks but on anyone he considered un-American, such as members of civil rights and anti-war organizations.
The movie moves back and forth between two periods in Hoover’s life: the 1920’s – 1930’s and 1960’s. He was making a name for himself during the 20’s to 30’s and during the 60’s where he was recounting his work in the FBI.
It is directed by Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio played Hoover. Naomi Watts played his assistant and Judi Dench played Annie the mother.