I recently read a Howard Hughes biography – Howard Hughes: The Untold Story by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske (you can read my review here) and knew I had to follow up with the highly recommended movie about this unique historical figure.
The Aviator was made in 2004 and has an impressive cast of stars: Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn, and Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner. Other stars include Ian Holm, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Gwen Stefani, Kelli Garner, Matt Ross, Willem Dafoe, Alan Alda, and Edward Herrmann.
The film covers Hughes’s life from 1927 – 1947. It begins with the making of the film Hell’s Angels and continues with the pioneering years of TWA and Hughes Aircraft, as Hughes broke flight records and secured government contracts during World War II. The later part of the film highlights how Hughes unravels due to his obsessive-compulsive disorder.
I thought the movie was great. DiCaprio’s portrayal of Hughes is excellent from beginning to end and Cate Blanchett is terrific as Katherine Hepburn. I also enjoyed seeing familiar actors, especially Alec Baldwin who plays the head of Pan America and Alan Alda who plays a U.S. Senator with close links to Pan Am and who is also bent on bringing Hughes down.
Can I say that the cinematography was great without sounding like I’m trying to be a film expert? It did win for that and I found the whole movie exciting to watch, from the Hollywood scenes to the plane scenes, including one dramatic crash that really took me there.
It’s not based on the book, just on the life of Howard Hughes, and not his early years or his later ones, even though it’s nearly three hours long! What’s left out of this portrayal is how Hughes was obsessed with having and controlling a shocking number of women. There’s a hint of it, though.
The Aviator was nominated for eleven awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor for DiCaprio, and Best Supporting Actor for Alda, winning five: Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Supporting Actress for Cate Blanchett. You can read more about the film on Wikipedia and IMDb.
Have you watched this movie? Since I have some more free time on my hands, I think I may watch it again!
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