The Aviator

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Howard Hughes was the kind of guy that had everything except a sane bone in his body.  True, according to this movie, he was a pioneer in aviation, he was romancing the prettiest young starlets in Hollywood, and he overcame any obstacle that got in his way… but at his heart, Hughes was a scared little germaphobe and, the combination of these two elements… the hero and the coward… are really what makes The Aviator such an interesting movie.

sc-fan-shirtMartin Socrsese is back after the disappointment that was Gangs of New York and has given us a film about a great man whose biggest enemy was his own demons.  It’s smart, sexy, sad, and tragic and I loved just about every minute of it.

The Aviator focuses on Hughes early years in the 30’s and 40’s and doesn’t even touch upon his last couple of decades when he went from a little crazy to a whole lot of crazy.  Still, even if you aren’t aware of the tragic ending of Howard Hughes, you can definitely see his ultimate demise coming like some kind of long dark shadow throughout this movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio has had a lot of trouble in roles.  In Gangs of New York, for example, he looks like a little boy in a man’s role which really sucks because DiCaprio is an incredible actor when given an appropriate part.  Well, in The Aviator, DiCaprio has finally become a man in my eyes.  Little Leo has grown up and has taken the part of Howard Hughes by the neck and doesn’t let go.  DiCaprio is completely believable in this movie and I’ll even go sa far as to say that this is probably the best part he’s played in his career so far.

Cate Blanchette plays Katherine Hepburn and, I might as well say, that she is the film’s other highlight.  In fact, the similarity between her and the real Hepburn is almost scary.  Blanchette and DiCaprio, in my eyes, have earned at least a nomination for an Oscar if not the award itself… of course, if it comes down between DiCaprio and Jaime Foxx, my head just might explode.

Martin Socrsese is also back in top form as The Aviator is a visual treat from beginning to end.  The colors in this movie are amazing as they seem to reflect the time period that we are in at the time (see the fun facts in the left sidebar for more on this), the costumes are great, the effects are nice, and every shot in this film – even the ones you wouldn’t think would – have something visually appealing in them.

The Aviator is probably going to become a late addition to my top ten list of 2004.  This movie is less biography than it is a dramatic epic.  With actors in top form, a great script, and a director finally back at the top of his game, this movie is primed to fly high.

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About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.