Power held by one man for so long is surely conditioned by lacking development elsewhere. Clint Eastwood must believe so as he tackles the life of J. Edgar Hoover. Played by Leonardo DiCaprio over several decades of his life, the hard work found in J. Edgar falls on deaf ears. Not because its hopes of adapting the former FBI Director to the screen is a wasted or useless opportunity to dive deep into the heart of American politics, but because Eastwood is unsure of what to do when he gets there. His response is not to showcase the big, interesting hauls of a fifty-year career, but to delve into the gossip surrounding his social life. Such a waste, especially when Hoover’s work is so interesting, primed and ready to be adapted to the big screen as the man who overhauled what the Federal Bureau of Investigation was responsible for.
Somehow, most of the Hollywood heroes and influencers that we as an audience can look up to are toiling away with their own sins. It happens for the eponymous St. Vincent, played by Bill Murray. He is indeed a nasty piece of work, and that is meant to be the enthralling part of him. “Love thy neighbour” the simple tagline of this feature was, and that is, in a literal sense, the point of this film. We are to embrace those that live next door, down the road, across the street. Just in case we fall on hard times and have nobody else to turn to. Its titular character and his neighbours find comfort in that rule of thumb.