Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar Hoover biopic is one of the big, lurking unseen contenders of the season, and our first footage here does little to dissuade that thinking. While Leo’s accent sure seems to me to be slipping in and out from scene to scene, it sure looks like he can coast his way to at least a nomination based on force of presence alone. Fanfiction writers should also be frothing at the hints here that the DiCaprio/Armie Hammer on-screen relationship will indeed be more than purely professional.
“J. Edgar” looks surprisingly good in the technical categories, too: Eastwood’s frequent collaborator Tom Stern looks to be doing sterling work here again in the cinematography department, but can I ask why Eastwood and Stern seem to permanently associate period pieces with that washed-out color scheme? “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Changeling”… just because the movies in the 1930’s were in black and white doesn’t mean the real people were too, Clint. I’m also guessing that a Best Makeup nod is pretty much in the bag for that aging work on Leo.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trailer #2
I usually don’t do repeat trailers for the same movie, but our first look at Fincher’s thriller back in June was more of a teaser (though an extremely effective one, at that). This far more extended trailer gives us a better look at the performances; I have a hard time seeing this clearly harsh, “Se7en”-style expedition catching on with the Academy in general, but holy shit Rooney Mara. I was a big fan of Noomi Rapace’s portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish film, but even I have to concede that Mara looks to be on another level here. There’s a sharp edge to her detached demeanor here that not even Rapace could keep up permanently. Of course, that’s just going on this 3 minutes of footage, but I have to think that Mara could make a late-season surge in the Best Actress race. You would never guess this was the same Erica Albright of “The Social Network” if you didn’t know better.
Also digging the atmospheric new tunes from our latest Best Original Score winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (at least, I think they’re new; I concede that it sounds pretty similar to “The Social Network,” so I hope they didn’t just take a sample from there and I just can’t tell). Did Reznor’s victory earn him and his partner a place in the Academy’s buddy club, or was that win just a fluke?