This one’s a Must-see!

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes.

Delicate; a film of great looks.

There was once a man who went by the name Howard Hughes. A man of power and wealth, both an aviation pioneer and a Hollywood filmmaker. A man with charm and smarts but also a phobia of getting even slightly dirty. This is his story.

The Aviator is a marvelous 2004 bio-pic by Martin Scorsese, telling us of the life of Howard Hughes, who is portrayed with greatness and dexterity by Leonardo DiCaprio, who is one of many great actors within the film’s cast. It is as brilliantly acted as it is directed and Scorsese is a man who ought to be proud of his work once again.

The film opens with a somewhat puzzling scene where a very young Howard Hughes is being bathed by his mother, who informs him that he isn’t safe. This intro foreshadows later scenes in which Hughes tries hard to keep perfectly clean, due to his Obsessive–compulsive disorder. We then join an older Hughes in California , 1927 as he is putting a large amount of his inherented fortune into his film Hell’s Angels. He wants it to be shot to look realistic and perfect. It means hard work but the film becomes a hit upon its release even though Hughes is moderately satisfied. He gets to create more complicated projects, though.

Hughes passion for airplaes and aviation remains strong throughout the story and he even invents certain aircrafts himself – I trust we’re all familiar with The Hercules? When flying one of them, in what becomes an extremely horrifying scene, he crashes into a suburban house and nearly burns inside the wreckage. It is after this horrible accident that many things start to go wrong in his life and he goes as far as to isolate himself from the world.

Juan Trippe (Baldwin) discussing Hughes’ recent self-imprisonment with Dietrich (Rielly).

The film also explores Hughes’ love life. He hooks up first with Hollywood actress Kate Hepburn (Cate Blanchett), then one of his hired actresses named Faith Domergue (Kelli Garner) and then another actress named Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale). He ends up on bad terms with all of them at some point. Poor fella.

What I believe I adored most about The Aviator was the rich and enormous cast of characters, each played by an actor doing an immensely great job. We’ve got John C. Reilly as Noah Dietrich, Alec Baldwin as Juan Trippe, Ian Holm as Professor Fitz, Danny Huston as Jack Frye, Adam Scott as Johnny, Matt Ross as Glen Odekirk, Alan Alda as Senator Brewster and Jude Law as Errol Flynn. The film even has time for cameos by Willem Dafoe, Gwen Stefani and Brent Spiner.

And the actors all do great, certainly. In all honesty I hardly recognized Cate Blanchett and Jude Law when they first appeared, though I was at certain times bothered by Blanchett’s accent, which sounded like a Southern lady trying to sound sort of British. Perhaps this is what the real Hepburn sounded like and there’s a gag I’m failing to spot? I do know she’s got the right looks, though, as does Beckinsale, but DiCaprio doesn’t look that much like Howard Hughes, which, on the other, hand matters very little as the rest of his performace is magnificent. The Aviator is furthermore a well-shot film, particularly the lovely scenes in the air.

I am still young and I must admit that I haven’t yet explored the films of Martin Scorsese, despite my knowledge of what a brilliant filmmaker he is. This is one of my first Scorsese-films and it is far from my last.

The Aviator is a fine and enthralling film, sometimes touching, sometimes mightily unsettling, telling us of the life and times of a great man, with a great cast, great cinematography and a great director to make it all happen. Sure, Hughes tended to be bit of a jerk at times, but one eventually learns to feel sympathy for him. At 168 minutes, it is a rather long film, hence why I advise you to see it when you have alot of time on your hands. Fly safely.

EDIT: A typo on my part made it look like I thought the film was “well-shit” rather than “well-shot”. Thank you dad for pointing it out and making me laugh a bit.

5/5 whatever.

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