The film about Margaret Thatcher, starring Meryl Street, is sure to be controversial when it is released; more so in the UK than here. Not to be outdone, Hollywood has the film J. Edgar; already controversial here in the US if the early reviews are any indication. Here’s the link to Rex Reed’s review: J. Edgar, the Man, Was as Pissy as J. Edgar, the Film, Is Passionless and Plot-Starved You might be better off spying on neighbors than Clint Eastwood’s unforgivable squandering of a great opportunity By Rex Reed 11/08 7:00pm http://www.observer.com/2011/11/j-e...gar-the-man-was-passionless-and-plot-starved/ Hoover is still controversial close to 40 years after his death. I find that interesting because he was not a head of state, nor any of the types that makes for lasting controversy. I don’t see how a movie can capture more than a shadow of the man. There was so much to Hoover for those of us who grew up with his positive public image; that was long before Lefties painted their ugly picture. In 2003 Ann Coulter named five men liberals hate the most: On our nation's birthday, it is appropriate to honor the five men who did the most to defend our freedom in the last century. The names are easy to remember they are the five men most loathed by liberals: Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, Whittaker Chambers and Ronald Reagan. Liberal alternative patriotism Ann Coulter July 3, 2003 http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=1139 The movie J. Edgar tells me Coulter’s list is still accurate. Liberals are masters of the smear tactic and the politics of personal destruction. So why can’t conservatives see that liberals do it because because those tactics work? J. Edgar Hoover joins the Founding Fathers in that liberals waited until after they were dead. In Hoover’s case discretion was the better part of valor; liberals didn’t have the guts when he was alive. I don’t know if the movie J. Edgar resurrects Jean Seberg (1938-1979). Way back when Vince Foster’s death was hot news, I pointed out that seven years after J. Edger Hoover (1895-1972) passed away liberals blamed him for the suicide of that troubled actress, yet everybody on the Left went bonkers when the Clintons were blamed for having Vince Foster murdered then labeling it suicide. Incidentally, at the time I said that accusing the Clintons of murdering Foster did them a favor. The charge of murder is quickly dismissed without proof as was the case with Foster; whereas, suicide always ends up in the realms of speculation and interpretation for decades after the event à la Jean Seberg and Hoover. Clinton detractors could have gotten much more milage out of a suicide charge. I must say that Clint Eastwood disappointed me. Based on his public statements over the years, I always saw him as standup guy in real life who was perfect playing tough cop Dirty Harry. Now, I’m not so sure. His part in setting the tone for J. Edgar is less than admirable. Anyway, the enclosed article in two parts is the best I’ve read so far: November 9, 2011 Citizen J. Edgar? By Thomas Lifson A friend who knew that I saw a press screening of director Clint Eastwood's heavily-promoted new movie J. Edgar asked if it was worth seeing or politically skewed. I answered, "Both, unfortunately." The film opens today in a few major cities, and it will be released nationally on Friday. J. Edgar Hoover's public image in media popular culture, unnaturally perfect from the 1930s through the 1950s when he put himself forward as the embodiment of the Bureau, has fallen precipitously since his death, under sustained attack by political and cultural foes. The new movie portrays him as neither a monster or a hero, but as a deeply flawed figure in American history. (See Elise Cooper's article, "The Real J. Edgar Hoover," for more on the film's skewing of Hoover's life.) One of the principal focuses of Hoover's many enemies has been the innuendo that J. Edgar Hoover and his assistant for decades, Clyde Tolson, had some sort of homosexual relationship, even though there is no actual evidence of such. The biographical facts are clear, while the implications are less certain. Tolson worked as Hoover's closest assistant for decades, and the two men ate lunch together nearly every day and vacationed together, and when Hoover died, Tolson inherited his house. The two men are buried near each other, but not next to each other, in the Congressional Cemetery. Quite clearly, they were good pals, enjoyed each others' company, and trusted few others as they did each other. That on its own does not necessarily make them homosexuals. There was a time, not all that distant in the past, when chastity was admired and assumed to be a possibility, even for a lifetime. This is, of course, unimaginable to those who live in the world of Hollywood or New York. Director Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who wrote Milk) actually do leave open the faint possibility that Hoover was a chaste male of no particular sexual drive. In the film's portrayal, he clearly looks upon marriage as a useful life arrangement, not a romantic endeavor. Tolson, who is a dandy and who teaches Hoover to dress better, is much more strongly implied to be either an active or latent (as they used to say) homosexual, but even in his case, the possibility (however remote) of a nonsexual relationship is preserved. The film never shows any homosexual activity between the two, but it does more than nod in that direction. In a very dramatic scene, when Hoover tells Tolson that he is thinking that it is time for the director of the FBI to get a wife for himself, Tolson goes crazy as if he were a rejected lover, and it gets violently physical between the two. This is entirely imaginary, though a key to understanding the mystery of the two men's relationship as the film would have it. In the modern mind, the repression of sexuality of any sort is held to be traumatic and a source of distortion and trouble -- a theme first propounded by anthropoligist Margaret Mead and seized upon by the libertine left as self-evident truth, despite the many grave errors in Mead's original research. Furtheriung the image of a repressed homosexual, Hoover is depicted as a classic momma's boy, domimated by his widowed mother, with whom he in fact lived into adulthood in the family's D.C. house. Leonardo DiCaprio does a superb job in the title role and will almost certainly receive at least a nomination for an Academy AwardTM. Under current modish sexual assumptions, any adult male without a wife or history of girlfriends is presumed to be a homosexual. When a figure from the past is involved, nudges, winks, and snickers are deployed. That is certainly how the screening audience I sat with last Friday in San Francisco took the movie, guffawing and jeering at moments where the two men were framed tenderly, hinting, to those inclined to believe that adult sexual impulses are irresistible, at something more to follow in the bedroom that the filmmakers modestly omitted, much as they used to do in post-Production Code Hollywood. The person sitting next to me disappointedly remarked at the end, "No cavorting!" Indeed, the homosexuality was implied, but never stated. One of the most notorious slurs against Hoover is that he was a crossdresser, an allegation that is based on the words of one woman quoted in a book -- slender basis for such an allegation. But this accustaion received enormous publicity when first aired in the early 1990s. The film does not go so far as to show Hoover out in public, but it does acknowledge the slur in a somewhat touching scene following his mother's death, when Hoover goes through her personal effects and holds a dress of hers up against his body. Eastwood adopted the basic narrative structure of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, with the time frame jumping around the decades, portraying the life of his central character through a series of non-chronological vignettes. Instead of a reporter piecing together the story of a man recently deceased, J. Edgar begins late in Hoover's career, in the 1960s (as he bugs Martin Luther King, Jr.) and has the elderly Hoover dictate his memoirs to an FBI agent scribe. Both directors invented the inner lives of their characters. But of course, Eastwood keeps the name of his subject, while Welles, who faced a living William Randolph Hearst, delicately disguised his subject as Charles Foster Kane.