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J. Edgar

J. EDGAR

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. FBI HEADQUARTERS 1960

FBI Director LEONARDO DICAPRIO is dictating his memoirs to a lackey agent.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

And then I played crazy person again in 'Shutter Island' and then in 'Inception' I played-

AGENT SMITH

(resisting Matrix jokes)

Isn't this book supposed to be about the creation of the FBI?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Actually the book is a tired framing device allowing me to tell my life story and explore my enigmatic character.

AGENT SMITH

Sounds like another dull biopic that will drag on for much longer than necessary. Are there explosions?

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. 1919

There's AN EXPLOSION! It's the most exciting part of the film.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Hmm the head of the FBI's home just got bombed and there are Communist leaflets everywhere. Unfortunately we have an inept police force instead of forensic science so we'll never figure out who did it!

LEO returns home to his mother, JUDI DENCH.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Hey, what's up with the incoherent crazy person on our front porch?

JUDI DENCH

According to the plot synopsis that's your father. He's in the last stages of dementia and it's very sad. Instead of exploring this further you should ignore him completely and go get a girlfriend.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Yes Mother.

JUDI DENCH

And stop quoting Norman Bates all the time. People will get the idea that our relationship is...weird.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

What do you mean? Everyone knows a boy's best friend is his mother.

LEO takes his secretary NAOMI WATTS to the LIBRARY because taking her to DINNER would be REALLY LAME.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Did you know I invented the cataloging system they use at the Library of Congress? Yeah I'm pretty great. Are you in love with me yet?

NAOMI WATTS

Wow you don't have a clue how to romance a woman. You're supposed to listen to my bullshit not shovel out your own!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

(completely serious)

Marry me!

NAOMI WATTS

Arrested Development references aside, I'd rather stay single and focus on my professional career.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

The 19th amendment was introduced for ratification about a week ago. How high are you planning to climb on the corporate ladder exactly?

NAOMI WATTS

Good question, but this movie is about YOU. Let's focus on your aspirations instead, while relegating my entire character into the background and making this scene completely useless.

LEO sets out to make the FBI a POWERFUL INSTITUTION because MOMMY told him to. NAOMI helps too, I guess.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

All right my fellow agents, I've gathered you here outside this Commie Base to catch the people who bombed our boss's house. Now, we don't have any real power so I invited a bunch of local cops along to do the actual arresting while we take credit for their hard work. Trust me, riding on the coattails of more talented people is how I've handled most of my acting career so this will work.

IT DOES. LEO meets with the ATTOURNEY GENERAL.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

The FBI needs more power. We should be allowed to carry guns, arrest people, and generally be better cops than the police.

ATTOURNEY GENERAL

I like your aggressive attitude. You're head of the FBI now!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Didn't you fire my predecessor for too aggressively hunting communists, even though I was spearheading that whole project?

ATTOURNEY GENERAL

This is one of those logical sinkholes you should just ignore if you don't want your brain to melt. It's like asking why people think Guy Ritchie is good at things.

LEO is interviewing people for jobs as AGENTS when he meets ARMIE HAMMER.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Hmm you look good. There's an opening I need filled in my department and I think you'd enjoy a position under me. It's a real hands-on job though. Lots of late nights.

ARMIE HAMMER

I don't know. I'm in top physical condition and wear designer clothing. I'm not a fan of playing in the mud, so the speak, but you might be able to persuade me if you've got all the right moves.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

I think I can convince you to... come... onboard. You're hired.

(to the camera)

This is as subtle as we can get concerning homosexuality since it's both of our driving character traits.

INT. LEO'S OFFICE 1961

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

(dictating)

At that point I started blackmailing everyone I met and lying about my achievements. Like how I took credit for killing John Dillinger even though Christian Bale did it in another movie.

AGENT SMITH

So you found out that Kennedy was cheating and Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian. What did you have on Presidents Truman and Eisenhower?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Well it turns out Truman was a serial killer and Eisenhower invented crystal meth, but we'll skip them because this movie only cares about sexual taboos.

AGENT SMITH

Huh. When did Alan Moore start writing screenplays?

EXT. CHARLES LINDBERGH ESTATE 1932

LEO and responds to a reported kidnapping with his "friend" ARMIE.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Charles Lindbergh's son has been kidnapped! If we can find him and catch the culprit, I'll be a hero for real!

(examines crime scene)

Jinkies, the step on that ladder is broken! The kidnapper must have fallen off of it while carrying the child in his arms!

ARMIE HAMMER

It may also have broken because of overuse, termites or an unrelated accident.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

While that's much more likely, I'd rather assume my idea is the correct one.

ARMIE HAMMER

Ah, the Occam's Noose principle. Hope it works out for you.

INT. FBI SMOKING ROOM/CRIME LAB

SCIENTIST

This should work brilliantly! We can analyze the wood patterns on the ladder and determine what store it came from. All we need to do is call every hardware store in the nation and get samples of their work for comparison!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

So instead of looking like a case study for modern forensics, my investigation resembles a ludicrous CSI episode. By which I mean all of them. So much for having credibility.

ARMIE HAMMER

Speaking of losing credibility I think we should have every meal together from now on. And go to horse races together. Presumably none of your many many enemies will find this odd or noteworthy.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Why is this movie handling my sexuality so immaturely? Biopics are supposed to present complex yet subtle representations of their subjects like Oliver Stone did in Nixon, not water them down into one-dimensional cartoonish versions of themselves like Oliver Stone did in W.

ARMIE HAMMER

Well Lindbergh's kidnapped son was just found dead so you might as well come hang out with me.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Or we could use the marked bills I invented to trace the ransom money and arrest the kidnapper.

ARMIE HAMMER

Yeah right, like anyone would find the details of the Crime of the Century interesting.

The ARREST, TRIAL, and EXECUTION of the kidnapper are glossed over in favor of watching LEO and ARMIE PAL AROUND together. They grow into their 1960's selves and ARMIE has a STROKE because he saw his old person "make-up" in a mirror.

INT. ARMIE HAMMER'S HOUSE 1960s

ARMIE HAMMER

Wait I'm confused. Is this before you dictated the memoir of after it? This movie has been cutting back and forth across time so often I've completely lost track.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Yeah for some reason the writer thought Pulp Fiction-ing a biopic was a good idea. Anyway, I'm going to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. with a sex tape because I hate him.

ARMIE HAMMER

Wow. Shouldn't that plotline have been introduced more gradually?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

That's the brilliant part! It's been so gradual that only now is it even becoming clear that there was a present day plotline at all!

ARMIE HAMMER

That's almost as annoying as the whole arc abruptly ending when King doesn't concede to any of your demands and you just forgetting about the whole thing.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

As a matter of fact-

The ARC becomes a QUARTER CIRCLE as we cut to the FILM'S CLIMAX.

INT. JUDI DENCH'S HOUSE 1930s

JUDI DENCH

I'm dying son. Just remember, gay people are bad and you should kill yourself if you choose to be one.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Despite your giving me unrealistically high expectations of myself, refusing to let me express myself, and lacing our relationship with strong Freudian overtones, I am genuinely sad that you died.

LEO goes into his MOTHER'S CLOSET and puts on one of her DRESSES, just to make sure NOBODY AT ALL can take this movie seriously.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Boo hoo hoo. This is supposed to be my Best Actor clip but it's so...unintentionally...hilarious..waaaaah!

INT. FBI HEADQUARTERS

LEO chats with NAOMI WATTS. Remember her?

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

I'm worried about my legacy. Is this how people are going to remember me?

NAOMI WATTS

No, you were much more annoying in Titanic. Besides, nobody ever won an Oscar for portraying a one-sided version of a polarizing and conservative figure from late 20th Century politics covered in make-up.

MERYL STREEP wins an Oscar for doing EXACTLY THAT.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Ah, fuck this.

(dies)

NAOMI shreds all of LEO's secret files instead of using them to blackmail her way up to corporate ladder like a CAREER-MINDED PERSON would have.

END