Daily Archives: September 10, 2006

Review: The Aviator

I’m of two minds about this movie. On the one hand, it was extremely well done, especially the directing and acting, and the subject was enticing and kept my interest. Unlike many films, my “armchair directing” has failed me: I don’t know what I would have done differently.

On the other hand, it was freakin’ long. Too long. At just under 3 hours, it’s a huge investment to spend the time to watch this movie, so there better be a huge payoff in satisfaction. I didn’t feel quite satisfied. For one, I wanted to know what happened in the rest of his life. Even a quick text summary would have helped. I also didn’t feel as invested in the characters as I wanted to. In some ways I was more interested in watching the actors themselves than in the characters they portrayed.

I do feel like I learned a lot about [tag]Howard Hughes[/tag] (and a bit about [tag]Katherine Hepburn[/tag], too). I didn’t really know much about him before seeing the movie, other than he was extremely [tag]germophobic[/tag] and [tag]eccentric[/tag], and that he was a billionaire airplane nut. This movie paints him as almost single-handedly creating (or at least saving) the airline industry as we know it today, and making huge strides in aviation (and one in film-making), all while being severely hampered by a [tag]mental disorder[/tag] (which looks like schizophrenia to me, from what’s seen in the movie, but I’ll look that up later). If he really had the strength of will to overcome his disorder on multiple occasions under extreme pressure, especially without the aid of medication, he’d have earned my respect for that alone.

But in the end, I didn’t empathise with anyone in the movie. I wasn’t wrapped up in the story. I was always aware that I was watching it from the outside. That’s a major strike in my book, so despite its superb mechanics, I can only give this one three stars.

[tags]Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorcese, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Alec Baldwin, Aviator, movie review[/tags]