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The Aviator


The Aviator (2004) N

Scorsese's biography of Howard Hughes covers both his movie and aviation careers starting from shooting Hell's Angels in late 1920s and ending in late 1940s after the successful test flight of Hercules. Along with his businesses it focuses on his romances, OCD and senate hearing about the government money spent during the WWII.


With wide coverage of a long period of time the film is fast paced even at its nearly three hour length. The passage of time isn't always very clear and without Googling the release date of Hell's Angels I wouldn't have guessed that from the start of the film to Howard's accident was almost 19 years. I would have wanted some clearer indications of time.

Most of the film is good. Beginning about the movie business and Hepburn romance is pretty light depicting most of the main characters as eccentric weirdos. After the accident the tone gets darker and the film starts to drag quite a bit. I usually like DiCaprio but here he felt little off, especially during the deepest depression of Howard. The dull part of the film ends with the senate hearing and rest is again quite entertaining.

The Aviator is somewhat typical modern biography focusing mainly on entertaining (which is not a bad thing). It caricatures it's characters and tries to make its world weird enough to capture the viewer's interest. There were also some short scenes / shots that seemed too theatrical for my tastes. I don't know enough about Hughes to comment historical accuracy.

Mostly entertaining biography that drags in the middle. I really should have watched this earlier.