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The Aviator


A biographical movie which follows a life of filmmaker, billionaire, and pioneering aviator Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio).

What I Thought

Every time I see Leo DiCaprio in a movie, I ask myself "why did they hire a 14 year old to play an adult?" So you may understand why my first reaction to seeing this movie is an infantile "ewww, stinky poo!".

As you may have gathered, I don't really like DiCaprio, unless you're casting for a Saved By The Bell prequel set in grade school. Yes, strong words but I've seen most of DiCaprio's movies (I know, I know, why do I?) and although I may like some of his movies as a whole, I mentally insert a big black hole where the lead actor should be. To a lesser extent, I do the same with Tom "furrowed brow" Cruise, Russel "what's that thing on your forehead, Russel?" Crowe, and Mel "sexiest man in WHICH world?" Gibson.

Sorry, all you DiCaprio, Cruise, Crowe, and Gibson fans. But I just can't.

So he plays Howard Hughes and chronicles his exploits against Pan Am, with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett), and against the US government (as embodied by Alan Alda as a NH senator). It also chronicles Hughes' increasing obsessive compulsive disorder and paranoia, as shown by DiCaprio scrubbing his hands, repeating words (a la Rain Man) and peeing in milk bottles. Apparently, that is considered "acting" these days.

Sorry, I can't help the smarmy anti-DiCaprio digs.

The special effects could have been, there are some great aerial shots, and you begin to feel some of the excitement the early aviation pioneers must have felt when flying those teensy tiny airplanes where you feel every drop & roll. That is, until you realize it's all computer generated, and not very good CGI at that. You'd think that for a movie about the rise of aviation you'd have some REAL flight shots.

The costumes were wonderful and look to be right out of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts Art Deco exhibit.

The storyline of Hughes' life was a bit disjointed. It's supposed to cover 20 years of Hughes' life and yet DiCaprio with a mustache does not mean he's aged 20 years. Maybe a semester in high school, but definitely not 20 years.

The movie was directed by Martin Scorsese, and (as ever) I'm just not very impressed. I just found the editing confusing, the directing off ("OK Leo, you're feeling paranoid--now FROWN. More frowning!"), and lackluster as a whole.

Ahh, but then we come to Cate Blanchett. Cate, Cate, you are my elf queen, my queen of England, and now my Katharine Hepburn... I thought she did a smashing job and absolutely deserves the supporting actress Oscar she won last night. I looked forward to every scene with her in it.

In conclusion: Cate great, Leo bad, movie boring, long and tedious.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.