The Aviator (2004)

The DailyView for today is an epic of a movie, a biopic from from Martin Scorsese, about the life of the eccentric and, at times, recluse life of Howard Hughes. The Aviator is nearly three hours long and, although it could have been trimmed here and there, it paints a brilliant picture of Hughes and his life.

Leonardo DiCaprio played the eccentric businessman and he was utterly transcendent in the role. His performance was amazing, bringing such depth and life to the infamous character. DiCaprio perfectly displayed the traits that Hughes suffered with, from OCD to his germaphobia, that fought against the brilliance of the mind of Howard Hughes. You could see the horror in the face of DiCaprio as he could see that these tendencies were stopping him, but he could not do anything about it.

DiCaprio won an Oscar for his role in The Revenant, but that performance pales in comparison to his work on The Aviator.

Cate Blanchett did win an Oscar for this movie. She played Kathryn Hepburn, the actress, and her relationship with Howard Hughes was intriguing. DiCaprio and Blanchett had such chemistry with their peculiar characters that they made the first part of the movie so enjoyable.

The third act of the movie brought in Alan Alda as Senator Ralph Owen Brewster, who was looking to pass a bill making Juan Trippe’s (Alec Baldwin) PanAm the only airline to fly international flights. Hughes’ TWA was looking to press itself into that market. Brewster forced Hughes into hearings to try and force him out of the market and help pass the bill. These scenes of the hearing with Alan Alda and Leonardo DiCaprio sparring was so satisfying, especially with the way the Senate is today. Watching Hughes bring the pain to the crooked Senator was life affirming.

There was also a scene where Hughes crashed his experimental plane that was just filled with tension and suspense. The special effects were stunning and created a scene that was compelling as could be. I do say that the after effects of the crash seemed to be glossed over quickly. They delved into the mental aspect of the crash, but he had severe physical issues that appeared to be passed too easily.

Great performances and a beautifully shot film made The Aviator an exceptional film. It may have been a bit long, but DiCaprio was totally enthralling every second he was on screen.

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