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The critical community is downright divided over the virtues -- or lack there of -- of the new biopic, 'J. Edgar.' In the film, Clint Eastwood ('Firefox') directs Leonardo DiCaprio ('The Beach') as J. Edgar Hoover, arguably the most powerful man of the 20th century. Is 'J. Edgar' headed for a date with Oscar gold, or will 'J. Edgar' be sitting home on that night, dictating lies about its prominence? As a service, we answer every question that you could possible have about 'J. Edgar.'
Q: What is 'J. Edgar' about?
A: 'J. Edgar' is a biopic on the life and times of J. Edgar Hoover.
Q: The 31st President of the United States?
A: You're thinking of Herbert Hoover, who is mentioned in the theme song for 'All in the Family.' J. Edgar Hoover was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations from 1935 until his death in 1972.
Q: Hoover dies?! Um, could you have at least tagged that with a "Spoiler Alert"?
A: OK, fine, "Spoiler Alert," J. Edgar Hoover has been dead for almost 40 years.
Q: How is Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover?
A: His acting is good, as always. Honestly, though, there are at least a few scenes that I can only imagine that he would have liked another shot.
Q: Why would he want another shot?
A: Because Clint Eastwood is notorious about filming one take, then moving on.
Q: Who is the most intriguing character in 'J. Edgar'?
A: That would be the character of Clyde.
Q: Oh! See, I love Clyde in 'Every Which Way But Loose." That's really nice to hear that Eastwood brought him back for another movie.
A: No, you're thinking of Clyde the orangutan. In 'J. Edgar,' Clyde is a human being named Clyde Tolson, played by Armie Hammer.
Q: At any point in 'J. Edgar' does Hoover say to Tolson, "Right turn, Clyde," followed by Tolson punching someone in the face.
A: No. But that would have been a much better movie.
Q: Does 'J. Edgar' delve into the rumors that Hoover had a lifelong affair with Tolson?
A: An underlying theme of the entire film is about Hoover's mysterious relationship with Tolson.
Q: Does 'J. Edgar' portray Hoover as gay?
A: The easy answer is "yes," but it's much more complicated than that.
Q: What famous cases does Hoover address during the course of 'J. Edgar'?
A: Quite a few, actually. Most prominent, though, during the course of the film, is the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's 18-month old son.
Q: What's the best thing about 'J. Edgar'?
A: The fact that the real Hoover was such an interesting figure and, at the same time, such an enigma. I felt like the moments that I enjoyed the most had little to do with the film itself, but more the subject.
Q: What was your first thought after leaving your screening of 'J. Edgar'?
A: "Well, that wasn't a complete disaster."
Q: How many times did you cringe during 'J. Edgar' at an awful line of dialogue?
Q: For how many straight seconds did you cringe when J. Edger puts on his mother's dress?
Q: What would have made 'J. Edgar' better?
A: My second thought after seeing 'J. Edgar' was "You know, Martin Scorsese could have made a great version of 'J. Edgar.'"
Q: What do you have against Clint Eastwood?
A: Nothing. Actually, I like Eastwood quite a bit. I can honestly say the only three Eastwood movies that I don't like are 'J. Edgar,' 'Hereafter' and 'City Heat.' I even liked 'Every Which Way You Can.'
Q: How old were you the last time you saw 'Every Which Way You Can?'
Q: What's the worst thing about 'J. Edgar'?
A: DiCaprio's voiceover. The best way that I can describe it is if someone said to Leo, "OK, for these voiceovers, do your best Darth Vader voice. It will be great, trust me."
Q: What was the second worst thing about 'J. Edgar'?
A: The makeup used on Armie Hammer when he is portraying Tolson in his later years. It is comparable with the makeup used on Dan Aykroyd as Reeve Alvin Valkenheiser in 'Nothing but Trouble.' (Though, DiCaprio's does look particularly good.)
Q: Can you think of one more question in which you can answer "six"?
A: How about "How many more fake questions do I have to come up with about a boring movie?"
Q: How many Oscars will 'J. Edgar' win?
Q: What infuriated you the most about 'J. Edgar'?
A: (Spoiler alert, of sorts) Near the end of the movie, we find out that a few scenes, that we took at face value, never happened.
Q: Haven't good movies done this before?
A: What makes this particularly frustrating is that these are not particularly over-the-top scenes that we would in any way doubt. When "the truth" is revealed, it's met with a collective shrug. I mean, one of the "big reveals" revolves around if a meaningless handshake happened or not. A handshake!
Q: At the end of 'J. Edgar,' what scene do you wish would have been revealed as actually happening, though wasn't shown?
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[Photo: Warner Bros.]