You're just done watching an ok-alright movie, you don't regret seeing it it was fine. Right afterwards you find yourself saying to yourself "I really only wanted to know more about this character, why wasn't the story about her/him?" Filmmakers sometimes just miss the target in terms of who to emphasize in the film, whether it be because a big-star was playing the main character or because that's just the way it was written in the script. For what ever reason the film just didn't quite grab you enough. What you did take away was, if anything, was a secondary part that was much more intriguing and compelling than the lead. They had the tougher choices, had nuances and subtlety and got the scraps of screen-time. "If only..." is one of the worst things that can derail an effective movie. So much potential wasted, what could've been, could've been great, groundbreaking even. Well, these ten films represent that concept in full. If only these ten would've been about the supporting player who grabs the audience, it would've been creative masterwork. But for now these films make this list for what could've been, lost potential at its most egregious.
10. J Edgar - Make Clyde Tolson the Lead/Narrator
Clint Eastwood was hoping this biopic of one of the most enigmatic figures in American history would put him and its star Leonardo DiCaprio back into Oscar consideration. Well, suffice to say it didn't quite work that way. Making only a modest profit at the Box Office, audiences were turned away by lackluster marketing and very mixed reviews by critics. Now, making a film about the mysterious and shady J. Edgar Hoover would've been a major undertaking for even the seasoned veteran director. The film's main problem is the framing device of Hoover narrating his career's achievements to a ghost-writer (Original), see the head of the FBI for fifty-years isn't exactly the most charismatic narrator. The story-telling here is bland as can be. DiCaprio does his best with the material, oh does he try, but really there is just not that much to go on here. Who does stand-out in the film (one of the few) is Armie Hammer's Clyde Tolson, who remains Hoover's right-hand man (and perhaps much more) for decades. He is a stalwart in terms of sticking to the beleaguered FBI director though his most famous trials and tribulations. So, why don't we just make the film from his prospective as Hoover's #1 in charge? Charming and loyal, he was even able to woe the emotionally detached Hoover (supposedly). SPOILER ALERT
: At the end of the film, it is even Tolson that reveals that Hoover has been lying to his ghost-writer about his involvement in cases throughout the years. So, if it was indeed Tolson narrating his time with Hoover we even would've gotten a less slanted version of historical events. A critical and commercial miss for Eastwood, he probably would've been better served trusting the narrative focus on the more relatable character in the pairing.