19 posts categorized "LEONARDO DiCAPRIO"

Nov 11 2011
The Way They Were?: Reviews Of J. Edgar & My Week With Marilyn Comments (6)

I have yet to write about Madonna's W.E. because I've only seen it via test screenings, nothing official. But it's not the only biopic coming at year's end. In fact, there are so many similar pictures that W.E. is getting an awards-consideration release December 9 then not reappearing until February 3 so as to dodge the glut.

I had wildly different reactions to two of the other biographical films out there.

Leonardo-dicaprio-armie-hammer-j-edgarMy buddy, my buddy...

J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood, written by Dustin Lance Black and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Dame Judi Dench, is a film I was curious about in spite of its odious subject, longtime, iron-fisted FBI god-king J. Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio). The film covers Hoover's era-spanning career as the country's loved/hated A-list G-man, from the birth of the FBI through Hoover's death during the Nixon presidency. For a film attempting to cover so much, it winds up with surprisingly little to offer by way of honest insight.

DiCaprio's old-age makeup was quite distracting at first but was overall passable, particularly when compared to that used on Armie Hammer as Hoover's longtime companion Clyde Tolson. Somehow, Tolson starts out younger and cuter than Hoover and winds up looking like something out of a Saturday Night Live sketch; just unbearably bad work on the makeup. Watts looks too old to be a young secretary in the beginning of the movie, but way too young to be a senior citizen by film's end.

Superficialities aside, DiCaprio is admirably committed as Hoover, but I found him very actorly and at times hammy. He comes off, more often than not, as a boy pushing hard to seem like a man. Gorgeous Hammer exudes a knowing quality that Eastwood unfortunately D74ryb8itr95rt5bdoes not reign in properly, leading to laugh-out-loud lines that shouldn't be. For example, it's pretty humorous when Hammer's Tolson fusses about the sartorial blunders of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and a side-splitter when he sniffs that Dorothy Lamour (pictured with Hoover in the '40s) is a bit "camp" for him. If he gets an Oscar nomination for this after not 1getting one for The Social Network, that would be a travesty.

Watts has nothing to do and does nothing for the film—she's sleepwalking.

In stark contrast, the usually flawless Dench is way over the top as Mama Hoover, a cardboard cut-out of a taciturn mother who's so pushy even Norman Bates wouldn't have traded for her.

I think the biggest problem with this film is the script. After deservedly winning an Oscar for Milk, Dustin Lance Black turns in a Razzie-worthy blueprint this time, structured around Hoover dictating his self-aggrandizing memoirs to a series of young secretaries (all dudes, nudge-nudge). This set-up allows for too much telling and not enough showing, and makes the film's focus drift disagreeably between Hoover's most famous case (the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby), his weirdly asexual yet romantic relationship with Tolson (there is an aborted kiss, but otherwise we're supposed to believe they were inseparable but never fucked) and the origins of his rabid anti-Communism.

I'm as liberal as it gets, and I like that there is goss out there that Hoover was gay and/or cross-dressed, but I strongly felt like the gay stuff in the film (a convenient story about a childhood acquaintance of Hoover's nicknamed "Daffy" for "daffodil" who was bullied and committed suicide feels very It Gets Better) was questionable, and the cross-dressing was one of the most embarrassing things I've seen in a high-profile drama in years.

I wish I liked this movie, but then again, screenplay be damned, maybe it would've helped if the main character were not so thoroughly contemptible from start to finish.

J. Edgar (Warner Bros.) is out now.

*****

PreviewScreenSnapz001Misty Rowe will be eating her heart out!

A far more likable VIP gets the biopic treatment in My Week With Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges from the famous memoir by Colin Clark, who had the good fortune to be third director on The Prince and the Showgirl in the late '50s.

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Nov 04 2011
WIN IT: Enter For A Chance To Win A J. Edgar Prize Pack! Comments (58)

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I'm not trying to make a federal case out of it, but Boy Culture has some amazing J. Edgar prizes to give away to five of you who comment this post between now and Friday the 11th at 5PM EST—I'll choose five of you to win at random. Simply comment back with your choice for your favorite biopic of all time and you're entered to win...it's that easy!

JE_Bag JE_Hat

One grand-prize winner will receive a J. Edgar leather messenger bag, J. Edgar hat and a movie poster. Four runners-up will receive a J. Edgar hat and a movie poster.

More after the jump...

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Oct 28 2011
Bestills My Beating Heart Comments (2)

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A slew of new J. Edgar stills came to light today, chiefly of interest to me thanks to the presence of serial enflamer of gay hearts Armie Hammer. (But they also show director Clint Eastwood, writer Dustin Lance Black and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts and Dame Judi Dench.) Tons more after the jump...

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Sep 21 2011
G(ay)-Men Comments (5)

SafariScreenSnapz001
The official trailer for Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar Hoover biopic J. Edgar—written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black—is out, unlike its subject...

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Dec 13 2010
She Blows Comments (8)

Rose"Never let go..."

I remember when Titanic (you know, the original Twilight?) was about to be released and everyone thought it was a potential mega-bomb of all time—it had cost way too much and been delayed way too often. Then it became the biggest movie of all time and made household names of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. I even edited this magazine about Leo, using early-years photos:

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Jul 28 2010
Please Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming! Comments (6)

Article-1298384-0A9A5037000005DC-995_472x302
Tomhardy071106_243x359Inception's Tom Hardy engaged to Charlotte Riley, displays a refreshing bit of honesty when asked if he's had sex with men: 

"As a boy? Of course I have. I'm an actor for fuck's sake. I've played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I'm in my thirties, it doesn't do it for me. I'm done experimenting but there's plenty of stuff in a relationship with another men, especially gay men, that I need in my life."

More here.

 
Jul 15 2010
Starry-Eyed: Joy Behar Comments (0)

Joy Behar caught the Inception screening the same night I did. She was fussing with her phone as the lights went down, eliciting a sharp rebuke to "Turn off the game!" from someone nearby. She snapped, "All right—calm down!" Later, she seemed to say she liked Leo but was "terrified" by the movie; not sure she liked it.

 
Sep 11 2009
Punky Power! Comments (1)
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In Touch (September 21, 2009) brought to my attention the fact that Soleil Moon Frye (1) has 1,000,000 Twitter followers (whoa!) and that (2) she gifted her followers by dressing up as Punky Brewster for the first time in a million years:


If memory serves, after I published a Leonardo DiCaprio tribute magazine about 12 Photo years ago when he was the "It" boy, a young, agitated woman called me up to bitterly complain about it. I challenged her right to be so upset and she said she was in some of the pictures in the magazine, then she calmed down totally once I made clear that the magazine had been done with the cooperation of the photographer of all these early-years Leo pix. "He's a cool guy," she observed, and then she was done ranting. In looking through the mag and in remembering her voice, it was clear this had been a protective Punky Brewster. Maybe her loyalty is why she's remained friends with the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore over the years.