I had allotted my calorie intake today to enjoy a medium bag of popcorn during the movie, but once I saw that it was $6.00, I passed. That's 300% of the ticket price—to say nothing of the 1,275% Average Markup on Movie Theater Popcorn.
But I've digressed...
As I said a gazillion paragraphs ago, I saw:
My reflections on the movie:
- Unequivocally, to me the saddest part of this movie was when Edgar tries to tell his mother that he's gay in the best way that he can—he is obviously so tormented about it that he can't even say the word himself. He stammers, "I don't like to dance—with women—mother." She reminds him of an old family friend of theirs who was called "Daffy," and asking him if he knew why they called him Daffy, she corrects his answer of, "I always thought he was a little off," by saying, "No. It was short for daffodil, Edgar. And I'd rather have a dead son than a daffodil son."
- I wondered if Judi Dench (playing the woman who said those very words above) is always great or if I just have a huge bias toward her. She and Maggie Smith are two actresses I can't seem to dislike in anything I see them in.
- I thought they did a good job of aging the characters in this movie. I found the fact telling and compelling that Clyde Tolson's character aged so much worse than J. Edgar's character.
- I didn't realize that the actor playing Clyde (J. Edgar's love interest) was the guy who played the (hunky) twins in The Social Network until just now when I looked up the movie in Wikipedia.
- I thought that the movie intimated that the two men were never intimate, and this description of the movie in Wikipedia (so it must be true) seems to confirm that: "...including an examination of [J. Edgar's] private life as an alleged closeted (and chaste) homosexual."
- I thought this movie did an incredible job of "showing" things and not "telling" them. Two scenes come to mind: 1) When J. Edgar goes to his mother's house and passes a man rocking on the front porch who tries to speak to him, but is virtually unintelliglble apparently due to a stroke, and J. Edgar glances at him and proceeds into the house, and 2) The scene with Clyde in which J. Edgar says, "In other words, Clyde, I think it's time there was a Mrs. Hoover."
- The torment J. Edgar felt at being gay was palpable, and it's a credit to Leonardo DiCaprio for portraying it as such.
- The portrayal of Richard Nixon was brief, but fascinating to me.
- Anybody who thinks the FBI is a quintessential organization of "good," will certainly have their eyes opened in this movie.
- In the notes at the end of the movie they mentioned that Clyde was buried in a cemetery close to J. Edgar. It made me wonder where J. Edgar's mother was buried in comparison. My guess would be between them in proximity.
- Not knowing much about J. Edgar Hoover before going into this movie, I left it with a sadness for him on a number of levels, including but not limited to:
- Having never lived his authentic life
- Having never experienced the great physical and emotional pleasure that can come from making love with a man
- Having let a manipulative mother dictate so much of his being
- Having had such a debilitating need of approval from "others" in his life
- And for living a lot of his life in—what I'm going to steal from a phrase I learned in the Steve Jobs biography—a "reality distortion field."
All in all, a movie certainly worth seeing on the big screen.