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The Aviator

Movie Information

In Brief: Martin Scorsese's epic (in the best sense) and sprawling biographical film on Howard Hughes is probably his least successful 21st century film, but that doesn't keep it from being pretty darn fascinating in its own right. And it's certainly brilliantly made by a master filmmaker. Whether it's as emotionally involving as it should be is another question.
Score:

Genre: Biopic
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda
Rated: PG-13

I make no secret of the fact that I tend to prefer Martin Scorsese’s 21st century work to his earlier work. As I’ve noted on a number of occasions, this strikes me as being largely due to the fact that I am more drawn to his more recent subjects — and it probably has very little to do with his filmmaking, which has always been of a pretty high caliber. Still, it’s worth noting that four of his five 21st century narrative features have landed on my Ten Best lists — and two of them snagged the No. 1 slot on consecutive years. The one exception to this was The Aviator (2005). As a result, I was interested to see how I would feel about it on a second look. While I liked it a bit more, most of my problems with it were still there. It still seems uneven to me and its history is occasionally pretty dodgy, but the real problem is that Scorsese never manages to make me care very much about his main character. My original review still captures my feelings, although the first sentence now seems funny: “Even though I rarely like Martin Scorsese’s movies (The Gangs of New York being the notable exception).” You can find my original review in full here: http://avl.mx/l4

The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Aviator at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

One thought on “The Aviator

  1. Big Al

    My favorite line: “We’re all communists here”.

    (or was it “We’re all GOOD communists here”? I think that part might be my own bias influencing my memory)

    Boldly honest considering the guy you’ve invited to dinner is one of the biggest defense contractors for the capitalist-imperialist war machine.

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