Thursday, July 21, 2016

Aviator 2004 Movie Review - Discussion

From the far reaches of the Milky Way Galaxy, It's Retro Nerd Girl with a film review for you.
Today I'll be reviewing the movie The Aviator released in 2004.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale

Directed by:
Martin Scorsese

Biography, Drama


$110,000,000 (estimated)

IMDb Rating:

My Rating:

The Synopsis is:
This movie is a loose biopic of Howard Hughes who began as an heir to a successful oil tool business, then a Hollywood filmmaker, and onward to become an aviation genius.

I enjoyed this film a lot.  The film starts a little corny.  Very old-timey.   Once Howard begins his weird ability to multitask his genius, you get into his mind and it’s fun, and then dramatic, and then victorious.


The pacing flows good, but in some parts go on for too long.  On the most part it’s pretty good.

The story is just like a biopic, where the story doesn’t really have a flow of the hero's journey, but it’s still good.

The movie explores how Howard struggled to balance his genius with being partially deaf and dealing with his OCD.  The movie makes it seem as if his issues to get worse as he get older.  But it is his plane accidents that accelerate his trip into madness in real life as he begins to depend on painkillers to ease his constant discomfort.

This detail is in the film, but you don’t get it spelled out for you and it works for a movie format where you do don’t have a lot of time tell a lifetime of experience.  It also, expresses the OCD need to have everything sanitized when it ironically paralyzes its victims into a very unsanitary existence.

I don’t know how I could feel empathy for Howard but I do.  He’s ridiculously specific and angering, but he’s weak.  He’s an incredibly brilliant man behind all of the humanistic frailties and you want him to succeed.  Planes are his jam and it’s the area he shines.  Part of his genius is his obsessive demands of others.  Since he has money, he gets what he wants, but with brilliant results.   The real life telling of Hughes’ life is not as sympathetic.

It’s a gorgeous film.  Cinematic and sound.  The film won an Oscar for it.  Well executed.  Martin Scorsese designed each year in the film to look just the way a color film from that time period would look.  The costume was immaculate depicting a gorgeous recreation of old Hollywood.  The CGI and green screen special effects are sparingly used for when it’s needed and that’s good because unfortunately some moments don’t stand the test of time.  The music is playful and time appropriate… a little fun.  Not too epic, but definitely good to get you into the mood for the time period.

Amazing!  There are so many great actors in this movie besides the main stars.  Leo received an Oscar nomination for this role and many people thought he was robbed that year for not getting the Oscar.   I love the use of Alec Baldwin in this film.  He played his best character acting of that cool sophisticated threat.

Cate doing Kate was pretty awesome! Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Katharine Hepburn makes her the first performer to win an Oscar for playing a real-life Oscar winner.  Martin Scorsese requested that Cate Blanchett watch all of the first 15 films of Katharine Hepburn to learn her mannerism and her poise.   Cate looks nothing like Katherine Hepburn, but she looks like her only because she exudes Hepburn’s essence.  It’s a captivating performance.

I enjoyed Kate Beckinsale’s work in this film, she captured Ava Gardner’s look and speech. Kate Beckinsale gained 20 pounds for this role and it works.

The capturing of the spirit of the old stars.  Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner.  In the news, they didn’t seem very important, but he seemed to always care about the women he loved.     I enjoyed every time this film captures Howard being the aviator it’s very magical!  His ingenuity is intoxicating.  I also enjoyed the fact that there isn’t any gratuitous violence in this film and it didn’t need it to tell a great story.

I liked the relationship between Howard and Kate, but the love scene made me feel funny.  It  felt as if the relationships Howard had between Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner were given extra screen time to give his character more humanity.

There was a hint of him being interested in under aged girls.  There is also a strange opening scene with Howard’s mother.  It fuels the origin of Howard’s OCD , but I have to say,  it is weirder than having spaghetti in grape jelly sauce.

Wish List:
I can accept this movie for what it is and I don’t have anything that I wanted from this movie but I really wouldn’t have mind if the movie was longer.  I know that’s weird after it’s almost 3 hours.  Like, how is that possible.  I mean, like, I want to know what happens next, and that’s good.  That means that the movie ends when it should.

The ending:
The ending was nicely done.  Not at all like the ending of the life of the real Howard Hughes.  He died tragically as you would have imagined, but in the film Howard gets to show his brilliance as an aviation genius.

Martin Scorsese is in love with the 30’s  and 40’s and it shows in how beautiful this story is told.  This is not a documentary but a luscious dramatization of a life.  It’s not meant to be verbatim, but taking liberties for drama.  What it does is inspire a desire to want to know more about the real Howard Hughes and that is what it a good biopic should do.

That sums up my review.  I hope you liked it.

This is Retro Nerd Girl signing off.

Take care movie lovers!  I'm off to the next review!

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