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The Seal of the United States Federal Bureau o...

The Federal Bureau of Investigagtion

Not necessarily healthy, mature love or balanced, equitable relationships negotiated between two or more adults.  No, instead it was more about obsession, control, immaturity, desperation,  loyalty, fidelity, commitment.

Let’s start with LIKE CRAZY.  Superbly acted by Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin, LIKE CRAZY is a love story about two young college students who think they are in love.  They probably are in love or at least as they define love.  It seemed to have a lot to do with sex, fantasy and a disregard for life as it is with rules and boundaries as only two young people wrapped up in their own world perceive it.

Really it’s about love, that  beautiful precious emotional gift,  mishandled by two immature kids.  Basically that’s the problem here – Jacob and Anna are just too immature to grasp what love and commitment really mean.  Patience! That one word engraved on the bracelet given to Anna by Jacob was the key to creating a deep and lasting relationship.  They talked the talk, but couldn’t walk the walk.  Maturity knows patience, maturity understands that it isn’t necessary to indulge your every desire in order to be happy.

Final thought: Anna’s parents came off as way too liberal psuedo-hippies from another era.

J. Edgar

Now here is tale or two of twisted love….a doting mother whose love was controlling, compulsive and suffocating and lavished on a son eager for Mommy’s approval in all things.  Dame Judi Dench embodied the role of this overbearing and obsessive mother.  Edgar was her favorite, Edgar was destined to be a great man and she was the stage mother in the background, directing and advising on everything from the clothes he wore to commanding him to find the Lindberg baby.  Edgar was devoted to his mother, turning to her for counsel, revering her and escorting her to political functions as his date.  The only other woman in his life was Miss Gandy, his personal secretary who was not only the gate-keeper, she was also his trusted secret-keeper.

And then Clyde Tolsen is introduced to the Director of the FBI and in a swift series of meaningful glances, we know that Clyde is destined to be in Hoover’s life.  Almost laughably transparent in his intent, Hoover arranges for Tolsen to be accepted into the Bureau even though as a candidate, Tolsen has none of the desired qualities.  But he is tall and good-looking.  In this day and age, homosexuality is understood, acknowledged and acceptable in most circles.  NOT in those days.  It was apparent that J. Edgar was somewhat conflicted, alternating between  assuming an almost asexual ascetic life and craving the companionship that Clyde so eagerly offered.  Although there were moments of tenderness between Tolsen and Hoover, their relationship was not consumated, at least not in this depiction.  Poor Clyde was ever the faithful puppy dog sidekick, thankful for any random ear-scratching that Edgar rarely bestowed.  

We don’t know how much of this movie is based on fact or historical fiction.  After all, Hoover appeared to be a very private man and the only two people who could know the intimate side of him (Miss Gandy and Clyde Tolsen) did not talk!

Overall I found the movie interesting because it was a biopic, but I didn’t think it was an exceptionally good movie.  I expected more from Clint Eastwood than a laundry list of Hoovers triumphs and failures.  Of course it was hard for me to spend 2 hours in the life of a man who I believe was misguided by his obsessiveness and evil in his vindictiveness.  Also not for a minute was I not aware that DiCaprio was the actor behind the make-up.  I don’t know if that’s because of mis-casting or bad acting – I believe it to be the former.

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