Many a person might argue that Clint Eastwood’s name is pretty much synonymous with “Oscar Bait” nowadays – and, to be fair, they’d have a point. The 81-year-old Hollywood legend nonetheless remains one of the hardest working men in the movie-making biz; he’s been churning out high-minded productions on an annual basis for a while now, and this year will be no exception.

Enter Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, J. Edgar.

A trailer has been released for J. Edgar, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover. Does this new theatrical preview make the film look like a fascinating biopic – or yet another “artsy” historical melodrama?

The answer is… a bit of both, but not, per se, in a bad way. Biopics are somewhat infamous for their tendency to focus too much on recreating the “major events” in their subject’s life – and thus, they fail to offer real insight into the motivations and behavior of the figure being examined. However, not only was Hoover directly involved with many an important historical event of the 20th century – his personal and professional lives were often like something right out of a Hollywood melodrama.

Here is an official synopsis for J. Edgar:

As the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.

J. Edgar was scripted by Dustin Lance Black, who previously won an Oscar for penning one of the best biopics in recent memory, Milk. That film successfully dramatized the personal aspects of its namesake’s life, while also exploring his significance as a historical public figure. Based on the official description and the trailer for Eastwood’ new film alone, Black aims to repeat that act.

See what we mean by watching the trailer for J. Edgar (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below:

DiCaprio looks to deliver another engaging dramatic performance as Hoover – not to mention, his accent is thankfully subtle – and the makeup department for J. Edgar appears to have done a stellar job of transforming the handsome actor into a younger version of the more homely FBI head. That DiCaprio as the elder Hoover looks less convincing (and a bit too much like Orson Welles in Citizen Kane) is kind of disappointing, but it shouldn’t be too much of a distraction in the final product.

Eastwood is well-renowned for his elegant filmmaking aesthetic and J. Edgar should be no exception. The period production design (costumes, settings, etc.) on display in this early footage look quite superb, as does the cool color scheme and shadowy lighting of the cinematography. You can rest assured that the technical crew for J. Edgar will garner their fair share of accolades this upcoming awards season.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Watts in 'J. Edgar'

J. Edgar should also feature many an interesting character dynamic between DiCaprio’s Hoover and the people in his life – especially, his devoted lifelong secretary, Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts), his perhaps-too-influential mother, Anne Marie (Judi Dench), and his confidante/rumored secret lover, Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer). That the film looks to touch on the intimate details of all of these relationships is also definitely a good thing.

J. Edgar is slated to begin a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on November 9th, 2011, before expanding wide two days later.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers