In Contention

‘J. Edgar’ trailer

Posted by · 5:07 pm · September 19th, 2011

One of the great unknowns of the season (as I’ll get into momentarily with today’s Off the Carpet column) is Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.” Well today, we finally get a glimpse of the film via the trailer at Apple. The first thing of note, naturally, is Leonardo DiCaprio’s accent, which seems to come in and out in just these few minutes. Also notable is the makeup, which I’ve been saying for a while will be transformative and most certainly something to watch for in that race. Finally, I’ve been hearing that Judi Dench gives the supporting performance to watch for, and that seems evident here. Check out the trailer by clicking on the image below or watch an embed after the jump.

→ 75 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

75 responses so far

  • 1 9-19-2011 at 5:17 pm

    Parrill said...

    Could be great. Looks like a great double feature with THE AVIATOR…funny since Eastwood undeservedly beat that film for Best Picture.

  • 2 9-19-2011 at 5:18 pm

    mikhael said...

    Things noticed while watching the trailer: the make-up, the accent, and the way Leo and Armie look at each other!

  • 3 9-19-2011 at 5:19 pm

    Rhett said...

    I’m not getting anything. When I follow the link, it says the page can’t be found.

  • 4 9-19-2011 at 5:20 pm

    corey said...

    Rhett you can also find it on

  • 5 9-19-2011 at 5:24 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Rhett: Follow what link? Apple? It goes right to the page to view the trailer. I don’t have an embed yet.

  • 6 9-19-2011 at 5:25 pm

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Looks like shit, Kris.

  • 7 9-19-2011 at 5:26 pm

    amanda said...

    Good Shepard part 2.

  • 8 9-19-2011 at 5:27 pm

    Rhett said...

    The image and Apple lead to the same ‘page you’re looking for can’t be found’ message. I’ll just wait for the embed.

  • 9 9-19-2011 at 5:31 pm

    Keith said...

    Hmm. I like Leo, but I’m not sure I’m buying him in this role. Granted, it’s only a trailer. Production value looks great, no surprise there, except maybe for the make up which looks a little over done. I’m a big fan of Clint, so hopefully it adds up for him.

  • 10 9-19-2011 at 5:31 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    Looks terrific. Can’t wait.

  • 11 9-19-2011 at 5:32 pm

    Lucas said...

    It’s up at

    It looks middling – I think maybe Armie Hammer will surprise, but everyone else looks unremarkable.

  • 12 9-19-2011 at 5:34 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Gittes: LOL, why address me? I didn’t make it.

    Rhett: Not for me. That’s weird.

  • 13 9-19-2011 at 5:36 pm

    Lucas said...

    Also, why is there no score credit at the end of the trailer or on IMDB?

  • 14 9-19-2011 at 5:36 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Armie Hammer and bellow the line look great. Not sure about DiCaprio’s accent, but that might be the quick cutting of the trailer.

  • 15 9-19-2011 at 5:38 pm

    amanda said...

    Rhett the same thing is happening to me, but it’s not just from here every apple link I click on no matter the site does the same thing.

  • 16 9-19-2011 at 5:41 pm

    Rhett said...

    @amanda Same problem. When I search the Apple site, it says they don’t have the trailer at all.

  • 17 9-19-2011 at 5:42 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Lucas- Yeah, I would really like to know if the song in the trailer was original or not.

  • 18 9-19-2011 at 5:45 pm

    Jim said...

    Nice use of that Max Richter song in the trailer.

  • 19 9-19-2011 at 5:45 pm

    TheyCallMeMrTits said...

    Not bad at all but I have three issues:

    First: Armie Hammer’s first reaction shot looks very silly.

    Second: The make-up. It doesn’t look transportative enough to suspense disbelief here. Great work in places but the old age make-up sticks out.

    Third: The explosion shot is a bit too cgy. And Eastwood seems to be trying a lot of things here but I’m not sure it’s really him.

  • 20 9-19-2011 at 5:45 pm

    JJ1 said...


    -Looks impeccably made.
    -Armie Hammer looks like one to look out for (Supporting).
    -Ditto Dench.
    -Make-Up & Production Design looks great.
    -Di Caprio, I don’t know. He looks ‘potentially’ really good. I liked the looks btwn. him & Hammer. The accent does go in & out. Very hard to tell his quality by this trailer.

    -Basically, it looks how I expected it to look. Looks like something my-typish. But so hard to tell for now.

  • 21 9-19-2011 at 5:45 pm

    carrie said...

    Dicaprio as older Hoover looks like John Voight
    his accent seems weird

  • 22 9-19-2011 at 5:48 pm

    AnnaZed said...

    I hope this is kosher, but the trailer works fine at this site:

    If linking to that blog is verboten please remove this post. Just trying to be servicey.

    I love Leo and all (really, I really really do), but so far I’m not buying this performance. Only a clip of course, but still.

    This looks like the kind of project (like Invictus) where everyone concerned seemed think that they were spinning gold but in the end they weren’t.

  • 23 9-19-2011 at 5:50 pm

    Glenn said...

    DiCaprio does not look good, but Dench and Hammer seem like a treat.

  • 24 9-19-2011 at 5:51 pm

    Jim said...

    The song is “Last Days” by Max Richter from his Memoryhouse album, for those wondering.

  • 25 9-19-2011 at 5:54 pm

    Loyal said...

    Good enough for Best Picture and Best Actor noms, along with some techs. Not looking at a BP winner however. Still, 4 BP nominations in 9 years is very impressive for Eastwood.

  • 26 9-19-2011 at 5:54 pm

    Jim said...

    Whoops ! I mean “November” not from Memoryhouse, not “Last Days”.

  • 27 9-19-2011 at 6:02 pm

    McAllister said...

    Say hello to your seventh Oscar nomination, Mrs. Dench.

  • 28 9-19-2011 at 6:03 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Those getting an error on the Apple site, are you in the states? I wonder if it’s a weird thing like that. Odd.

    Anyway, it’s elsewhere, too. I’m just waiting on a clean YouTube embed without another site’s ads and watermark.

  • 29 9-19-2011 at 6:04 pm

    Carson Dyle said...

    Looks like Hoover uses a “normal” accent in private, but uses a different, more heightened accent in public, or in front of his subordinates.

  • 30 9-19-2011 at 6:07 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    @Parrill- couldn’t agree more… ‘The Aviator’ is one of my favorite Scorsese films (in recent years at least) and hands down DiCaprio’s best work since ‘This Boy’s Life’.

    Anyways… OMG OMG OMG OMG the trailer is finally out! I have been waiting for this sucker. First reaction: Wtf is this accent and voice over? I don’t know if I’m buying DiCaprio as J.Edgar. His eyes are so hollow… I get there are contacts in use but it’s a little off-putting. Hammer looks to be having fun with his role, Dench will in typical Dench-fashion brilliant, and Watts is just hanging out… can’t say much just yet. I do like the score, or what little of it can be heard.

  • 31 9-19-2011 at 6:13 pm

    Evan said...

    Looks good, potentially great. I’m really hoping DiCaprio nails this, but it’s a little hard to tell from this trailer.

  • 32 9-19-2011 at 6:33 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Embed up now.

  • 33 9-19-2011 at 6:38 pm

    Jesse Crall said...

    The trailer leaves the story pretty vague, although the film certainly LOOKS stunning. I’m not getting the in & out accent comments. Maybe it has to do with the difference between addressing large crowds and smaller, more personal situations. Hoover certainly created an image of himself drenched in phoniness.

    I just hope J. Edgar doesn’t follow typical rise, fall, redemption tropes of typical biopics, although the trailer leaves me a bit worried. Still, with the talent involved, I’m excited.

  • 34 9-19-2011 at 6:39 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “Hoover certainly created an image of himself drenched in phoniness.”

    This — as another commenter pointed out — could certainly be it.

  • 35 9-19-2011 at 6:42 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I’ve hated all late Eastwood output I’ve seen and this looks like more of the same awful.

  • 36 9-19-2011 at 6:47 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I’m with Chad, except for Mystic River.

  • 37 9-19-2011 at 6:51 pm

    tintin said...

    I love u Clint!

  • 38 9-19-2011 at 6:51 pm

    Jesse Crall said...

    Ah, just saw Carson’s comment…

    Chad: I doubt that this film will be anything worse than “flat.” Generally, with a great cast and high production values, it’s too easy to call films without energy or innovation “awful” when in reality, they’re just disappointing. It’s like when some commenters throughout different sites called The King’s Speech terrible, especially following its Oscar win. It wasn’t by any stretch terrible, just lacking some originality compared to say The Social Network or Black Swan (I liked all three films). I think the ambiguity of Hoover’s character (I’m being kind) SHOULD, hopefully, allow the film to avoid the preachy elements that may have plagued Invictus.

  • 39 9-19-2011 at 6:53 pm

    TheyCallMeMrTits said...

    I will say this, I hope the movie is better than it’s tagline “The most powerful man in the world.”

    Sounds like Oliver Stone’s Oliver Stone biopic.

  • 40 9-19-2011 at 6:54 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    What exactly is his accent (s) suppose to be? I’ve only heard one recording of Hoover… can’t quite gather what the heck you would call it.

  • 41 9-19-2011 at 7:00 pm

    Jesse Crall said...

    Here’s a link to Hoover being interviewed in 1960. He grew up in Washington D.C. and seemed to have a bit of a false Mid-Atlantic accent with a touch of the refined South thrown in. DiCrappio’s accents were spot-on in The Departed, Blood Diamond, and The Aviator, so I’d give him the temporary benefit of the doubt here.

  • 42 9-19-2011 at 7:10 pm

    Evan said...

    Judi > Armie >> Leo, rated by likely quality of performance

    Judi > Leo >> Armie, rated by chance of a nomination

  • 43 9-19-2011 at 7:57 pm

    J said...

    my quick thoughts on the trailer:

  • 44 9-19-2011 at 8:13 pm

    austin111 said...

    As it happens, Hoover had a stutter growing up. His mother had him taught to speak rapidly at least in public to compensate. You don’t get that in the trailer, but it is in the script. Hoover did indeed present a cunning manipulative side of himself in his public life but was decidedly messed up personally. I think, as with all trailers, it is best to see the film before passing judgment. If you see a vid of the actual Hoover speaking and juxtapose it listening to DiCap, the similarity is interesting. Stills of the aforementioned makeup actually look quite convincing to moi, even if not very appealing. You cannot judge a book by it’s cover and the same can easily be said of a trailer which shows no more than bits and pieces of scenes and rarely more than a sentence or two of dialogue. I don’t remember most being that impressed with The Descendents trailer or Moneyball’s but the films evidently are something else entirely.

  • 45 9-19-2011 at 9:00 pm

    RichardA said...

    feels like it’s trying too hard.
    the violin track does not fit the era and region.
    i’m pretty sure Leo will get dinged with the accent, even if it’s legit. (oh, how I wish Blood Diamond did better in the Oscars).

  • 46 9-19-2011 at 9:00 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    @Evan- Based on what… a 2 min. trailer? Not fair. Although Hammer’s tantrum is the standout performance in the trailer.

    Did anyone else think of ‘The Aviator’ when Dench is talking to J.Edgar Kid-version and says he will “rise to become the most powerful man in the country”? Reminded me of the opening scene in ‘The Aviator”.

  • 47 9-19-2011 at 9:02 pm

    Gautam said...

    It seems we finally have a picture that can lay hands on atleast 10-11 nominations …
    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Actor
    Best Supporting Actress (could be 2 here)
    Best Supporting Actor
    Best Original Screenplay
    Best Costume Design
    Best Make-up
    Best Original Score
    Best Editing

    Could be the King’s Speech of this year … though it’s difficult to tell how many of them will finally J.Edgar win … but it could be anywhere b/w 4-6

  • 48 9-19-2011 at 9:04 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Thanks @JesseCrall

  • 49 9-19-2011 at 9:11 pm

    tony rock said...

    Not sure why there’s complaints about the accent. Every line spoken is fairly consistent, the accent is simply a bit stronger in some scenes and subtler in others, which…get this…is how people really talk.

  • 50 9-19-2011 at 9:12 pm

    bobmcbob said...


  • 51 9-19-2011 at 9:27 pm

    Derek 8-Track said...

    If Leo would just get in there and really commit to shaving off his Widow’s Peak; and I don’t mean just take it back a little, but really make it disappear, not only would he be much more convincing in biopics, he’d be grabbing a second Oscar with this picture. But no, you have no Oscars Leo… and I blame your Widow’s Peak.

  • 52 9-19-2011 at 9:59 pm

    bobmcbob said...

    what accent did J. Edgar Hoover have? I didn’t know people in Washington, D.C. had specific accents

  • 53 9-19-2011 at 10:45 pm

    Evan said...

    Dana- Yeah, based on the trailer. That’s what trailers are for– show you a bit of the movie and see what you think/if you’re interested…

    It’s not some scientific fact; I’m just stating my opinion of what’s likely to happen.

  • 54 9-19-2011 at 10:46 pm

    Chris138 said...

    Hmm, looks interesting. I haven’t loved anything by Eastwood since Letters From Iwo Jima came out 5 or 6 years ago, so hopefully this is good.

  • 55 9-19-2011 at 11:06 pm

    AnnaZed said...

    @Gautam ~ Surely you jest.

  • 56 9-20-2011 at 12:41 am

    shark said...

    This looks abominable, and I hate it already, and in addition anyone honestly looking forward to it. HOW COULD YOU NOT THINK IT LOOKS LIKE SHIT? seriously I just do not comprehend this. Di Caprio as Hoover is hilariously wrong.

  • 57 9-20-2011 at 1:18 am

    ellen said...

    Now we know why Theron dropped out. But Watts obviously wants to work with great directors so I understand why she took the part.

  • 58 9-20-2011 at 1:42 am

    Jesse Crall said...

    @Shark: How could I not think it looks like shit?

    Perhaps because both DiCaprio and Eastwood are two of the most talented men Hollywood has ever produced. Perhaps because the film looks visually spectacular. Perhaps because calling a thrice Oscar nominated actor “hilariously wrong” for a part based on a two minute trailer is dangerously presumptuous. And perhaps because I retain the hope that a film with an original script and no seeming intention of being franchised might possess shreds of originality and vibrance that keeps my love of movies alive.

  • 59 9-20-2011 at 3:54 am

    matsunaga said...

    DiCaprio’s accent has its inconsistencies… I appreciate Hammer’s acting the most, though I felt Dench’s parts as well…

    Production Design and Cinematography are great! I’m glad Eastwood sticked with his ‘Changeling’ production team with this period drama…

    I also notice that the music that was used fits the trailer… Could it be that Eastwood himself is the one doing the Musical score for this?

    Over all, I like it compared to ‘Invictus’ and ‘Hereafter’ trailers…

  • 60 9-20-2011 at 4:30 am

    Gautam said...

    @ AnnaZed
    No .. I am not joking ..
    last year after seeing the 1st trailer I had predicted 10-11 noms for it … and finally it did happen …
    Here too .. with J.Edgar .. certain noms are blinders .. apart from the main categories … Costume Design, Make-Up, Editing … or even cinematography looks certain …
    I have no doubt in my mind … it’s going to get 10-12 noms … how many it finally wins will depend whether the movie is gud or great !! It will not like to fall into “Curious case of Benjamin” zone though …

  • 61 9-20-2011 at 4:32 am

    Gautam said...

    * correction
    1st trailer of King’s Speech

  • 62 9-20-2011 at 4:48 am

    Alex said...

    I’m reluctant to make assumptions based on trailers but I’m not impressed at all, with Leo’s performance or this preview.

    It’s so blatantly baiting for Oscar nominations, and the scenes of Leo are incredibly underwhelming.

    Kris you have DiCaprio at the top of you actors list, I think he may need to be knocked down a few pegs, but thats just me.

  • 63 9-20-2011 at 4:58 am

    JJ1 said...

    Though I’m looking forward to the film, and while I can see a gushfest of nominations 10-12 … so, too, can I see onl6 5-6 if the film really misses the mark (think ‘Nine’).

    In that case, I’m assuming Leo gets in (cause he’s Leo as Hoover), and maybe another acting (mayyyybe). Then there’s possible CIN, Art D, Make-Up, etc.. But again, if it gets ripped a new one in the reviews … only 5-6.

    I’m assuming it’ll be good or great, though; hence the 10-12 ceiling.

  • 64 9-20-2011 at 5:22 am

    Loyal said...

    @ Gautam

    “It seems we finally have a picture that can lay hands on atleast 10-11 nominations …”

    You forgot about The Artist, which has looked like a double digit nomination threat since Cannes.

    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Actor
    Best Screenplay
    Best Editing
    Best Cinematography
    Best Art Direction
    Best Costume Design
    Best Makeup
    Best Score

    Solid 10 nominations. Supporting Actress, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing could happen as well.

    Also, War Horse should hover around the 9-11 nomination mark.

  • 65 9-20-2011 at 5:27 am

    ninja said...

    This won`t win s*** and I`m a Leo and Armie fan. Just Oscarbait 101. Leo will have to wait for BSA in Django cause that category loves to award villains.

    IMO, since TIFF failed to short-list front-runners (cause they are all boring) , GWTDT is going to be the story. Sure-fire hit. Fincher considered robbed last year. Naked Rooney Mara. No-miss. I mean, is there anything buzz-worthy out there except it? This sure as hell ain`t.

  • 66 9-20-2011 at 5:33 am

    austin111 said...

    It is ridiculously presumptuous to assume a performance isn’t great based on a trailer alone. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Clooney and Pitt are both in for a bit of trouble.

  • 67 9-20-2011 at 6:52 am

    Gautam said...

    @ Loyal
    I feel The Artist may garner a number of nominations but might not reach double digit … specially since it’s a French film it will depend on how whole heatedly the academy members embrace it ..
    With War Horse .. since the main character is a horse … and hence tht means we are not looking at any acting noms … {may be a supporting .. but tht too seems far fetched} … but ya Best Film, Director and some technical noms are up for grabs … will end up with less than double digit figure …
    Somewhr I feel .. J.Edgar inspite of garnering multiple noms may not win many … by looks of it it does seem to be a great movie but not a knock out movie that goes on to win 7-8 awards !!

  • 68 9-20-2011 at 8:45 am

    Daniel said...

    Where is all this love for Hammer coming from? We don’t even see him act much in this trailer. I’m sure his performance will be great, but I’m not gushing over it yet. He might not even have that big a role.

  • 69 9-20-2011 at 8:52 am

    Ali E. said...

    Looks pretty old-fashioned and boring to me. I don’t predict it for a Best Picture nod, since I don’t see it getting that kind of support or love. The make-up also looks quite distractive and that’s never a good thing.
    Right now, I predict it only for Actor and Supporting Actress (Dench) nods. Art Direction is also a possibility. But I don’t believe it will win anything.

  • 70 9-20-2011 at 9:08 am

    AnnaZed said...

    @Gautam ~ Well, I simply can’t agree with you on this so far (of course, only based on a trailer so caveat emptor). For one thing that aging make up is very distracting and I can form an opinion on that based on a trailer and call foul. Furthermore I think that make-up could drag the entire enterprise down ~ acting, best picture ~ everything.

  • 71 9-20-2011 at 9:12 am

    Silrone Lima said...

    Good trailer, the production value looks amazing and Dench and Hammer are potentially great, but i’m not so sure about DiCaprio. BTW, The Aviator is such a mess, empty and portentous. DiCaprio, never before or later so overacting, and his makeup make me laugh.

  • 72 9-20-2011 at 12:18 pm

    drew roddy said...

    It looks awfully boring…and as for DiCaprio and Eastwood being “two of the most talented men Hollywood has ever produced”? Not even close. I respect Eastwood as an actor, but his directorial efforts, visually and thematically, are all the same, and DiCaprio is good but certainly not the best…hell, Billy Zane was better than Leo in Titanic!

  • 73 9-20-2011 at 5:57 pm

    austin111 said...

    Watched the trailer again this afternoon and I liked it much better. Still just a trailer though. I don’t think it looks boring at all, btw. I think we’ll see an interesting backstory to Hoover’s life and I also think it will flash back and forth with other historical events as well as Hoover’s known proclivities for spying and gathering unsavory dossiers on big people. I have to differ with the guy who thought DiCaprio’s makeup in The Aviator was a mess. I thought he was at his most convincing as the aging Hughes and he seems to have the moves down as old Hoover, breathlessness and all. The congressional hearing scene in Aviator was one of his best, imo.

  • 74 10-29-2011 at 12:15 pm

    David Seaton said...

    Waiting for the exit. Everything about the film J. Edgar can be found on this site.
    The site of the film “J. Edgar”
    Trailers, photos, news, reviews, soundtracks and more.

  • 75 11-28-2012 at 1:49 pm

    Heather Madden said...

    Although Hoover´s sexual foibles have been well chronicled, I have seen nothing in the reviews of this film about claims made in previous biographies that Hoover was of mixed race.

    There seem to be reasonable grounds for believing that he had black forebears and was so ashamed of it that he was hostile to the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King in particular.

    Hoover as a black homosexual may sound like something from the National Inquirer but it may well be true.