It looked like Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar was going to bypass the festival circuit entirely before opening on November 9th, but now it will hit up one fest along the way. Deadline reports that the J. Edgar Hoover biopic will open this year’s AFI Fest on November 3rd. Warner Bros. insiders say that it’s Eastwood’s best shot at an Oscar since Million Dollar Baby, and it’s really surprising that people who work for the studio distributing J. Edgar would be talking up J. Edgar‘s Oscar chances. You’ll forgive my skepticism since Eastwood hasn’t directed a great film since Unforgiven (his output since then has ranged from good to unwatchable). His new M.O. is to take weighty subject matter and let that power the film without actually providing any insight or ambiguity.
However, I’ll end up seeing it since I always turn out for Eastwood. Hoover is a fascinating and influential figure and I want the film to be good especially since it’s got a great cast in Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, and Judi Dench. It’s worth noting that opening AFI Fest doesn’t always get the Oscar ball rolling. Last year’s opener was Love & Other Drugs.