‘J. Edgar’ to Open the American Film Institute’s 25th Movie Fest in November

Clint Eastwood? Leonardo DiCaprio? J. Edgar can’t possibly fail. Some critics are already calling the movie a best picture contender, despite the fact that it hasn’t hit theaters yet. Well, those critics will be proved right, or wrong, at the American Film Institute Fest in November.

Eastwood’s J. Edgar will open the 25th AFI fest on November 3rd. The movie, which stars Mr. DiCaprio, will have it’s nationwide release the week after its premier.

AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said in the news release:

“Clint Eastwood is an American icon — one whose work as a director, actor, producer and composer not only stands the test of time, but also continues to add new, rich chapters with each passing year. What an honor it is for the American Film Institute to premiere his latest contribution to America’s cultural legacy.”

It’s pretty clear that the American Film Institute is a big fan of Eastwood. AFI awarded the Man with No Name the lifetime achievement award 15 years ago in 1996, describing Eastwood as “an actor who doesn’t waste words and as a director who doesn’t waste images.”

Eastwood has created an impressive body of work since 1996 when he won the award, which could probably qualify him for a second lifetime achievement award. Since 1996, Eastwood has appeared on AFI’s top ten list four times, for Mystic River, Gran Torino, Letters From Iow Jima, and Million Dollar Baby.

J. Edgar stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Oscar winner Judi Dench also star in the movie.

The American Film Institute launched Love and Other Drugs last year at the AFI Fest. The movie, starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal, had a fair amount of buzz behind it at its premier, but it didn’t live up to expectations during award season. J.Edgar could be a different story, however. Do Eastwood and DiCaprio guarantee Oscar nods?