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Could Leonardo DiCaprio finally take home an Oscar?

By Shelby Powell–
J. Edgar, the J. Edgar Hoover biopic helmed by Clint Eastwood, debuted on September 19 with a 2 minute and 29 second trailer that seemed poised to lead star Leonardo DiCaprio to his first Oscar winning role. Dustin Lance Black, the young writer best known for his Oscar winning screenplay for the film Milk, penned the film. It also stars Armie Hammer, fresh off a challenging turn in The Social Network, Judi Dench, and Naomi Watts.

The film will span the length of Hoover’s career as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and chronicle his struggle to turn it into the formidable organization we know today. Hoover’s relationship with his mother, played by Dench, will be a focus as well.

Black is not known for shying away from the more controversial parts of his subjects’ lives and he makes no exceptions for this film. Hoover was rumored to have carried on a long time romantic relationship with his second-in-command, Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer).

J. Edgar looks breathtaking from the opening frames. The scenery is bled of almost all color, a possible allegory for the choking frustration that J. Edgar felt during his life. The interesting cinematic tool is most obvious during what looks like Congressional hearing at the 1 minute, 45 second mark. DiCaprio, as Hoover, looks pallid and devoid of emotion. The red curtains in front of him blaze with color, the most vibrant part of the scene.

J. Edgar is quintessential Oscar bait. A contentious character is given a humanizing touch with a sweeping historical backdrop. A historically winning director leads a cast of big names with widespread appeal and talented fresh faces. One might be reminded of last year’s big winner, The King’s Speech, which took home 4 of the film world’s biggest awards.

Leonardo Dicaprio, though nominated 3 different times, has never found the proper vehicle to take him all the way to the stage. Perpetually snubbed by the Academy, he seemed resigned to a fate as one of the best actors but least recognized of our generation. With Clint Eastwood, Dustin Lance Black, and Judi Dench by his side, DiCaprio is finally ready to receive the recognition he deserves.

Watch the trailer HERE.