J Edgar opened the 2011 AFI Fest in Hollywood last night. The film will hit theatres next Friday and then we see whether or not it will factor during award season. I’ve only read two reviews so far (THR and Screen Daily) but both were medium plus to good. Both cited certain problems like Leo’s distracting makeup as Hoover ages, but for the most part, the early word on direction seems solid, Leo’s performance is “earnest” and “effective”, and his chemistry with Armie Hammer is apparently one of the great strengths of the film. There could very well be another Oscar nomination on the way.

Here’s Leo on the carpet last night, his first official appearance since Blake Lively played his ass, or at least appeared to. He looks good. Fit. Very tanned. Suits him. Leo, especially at this age, when he’s pale and clammy and heavy, he has a hard time making it work. It only works because of who he is. You think he’d get that kind of action, wearing socks and flipflops and purple track suits, if he wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio? He coasts. He’s The Guy who leans back and expects you to suck him off while he’s still watching the basketball game, and maybe his buddy might be in the room too.