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2 items from 2012

DVD Playhouse--March 2012

6 March 2012 9:50 PM, PST | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse—March 2012

By Allen Gardner

J. Edgar (Warner Bros.) Director Clint Eastwood provides a rock-solid, albeit rather flat portrait of polarizing FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, covering his life from late teens to his death. Leonardo DiCaprio does an impressive turn as Hoover, never crossing the line into caricature, and creating a Hoover that is all too human, making for an all the more unsettling look at absolute power run amuck. Where the film stumbles is the love story at its core: Hoover’s relationship with longtime aide Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer). In the hands of an openly-gay director like Gus Van Sant, this could have been a heartbreaking, tender story of forbidden (unrequited?) love, but Eastwood seems to tiptoe around their romance, with far too much delicacy and deference. The film works well when recreating the famous crimes and investigations which Hoover made his name on (the Lindbergh kidnapping, »

- The Hollywood

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Far From the Madding Crowd

21 February 2012 6:00 AM, PST | | See recent JustPressPlay news »

Thomas Hardy’s naturalist novel Far From the Madding Crowd runs rampant through the fields of unrequited love and fierce feminine independence. It turns the tables on all the conventions of normal literature of its era, stripping the power and decisions from the men and putting it in the hands of a newly empowered heroine who proves that neither sex is any better at making important life decisions—whether for better or for worse. PBS’s 1998 television adaptation puts Paloma Baeza into the role of the strong-willed Bathsheba, with Nathaniel Parker as Gabriel Oak, the farmer whose fortunes take a turn for the worse just after Bathsheba rejects his proposal. What follows is a slow, but well-paced story of love and consequences that starts sweet and ends in moving tragedy.



- Lex Walker

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