Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Biopic of billionaire Howard Hughes, starting with his early filmmaking years as owner of R.K.O. Pictures, but mostly focusing on his role in designing and promoting new aircraft. Hughes was a risk-taker spending several fortunes on designing experimental aircraft and eventually founding TWA as a rival to Pan Am airlines owned by his great rival Juan Trippe. When Trippe's politico Senator Ralph Owen Brewster accuses Hughes of being a war profiteer, it's Hughes who gains the upper hand. Hughes also had many women in his life including a long relationship with Katharine Hepburn. From an early age, however, Hughes was also germophobic and would have severe bouts of mental illness.Written by
The Aviator is another dynamic film from Martin Scorsese. He has employed his energetic style to the story of the Hollywood mogul / aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, the result is a fast-paced and entertaining biopic. It's a more restrained effort than Scorsese usually delivers and it's pretty obvious that it was going very much for a PG-13 rating given the very blatant method of including one f-bomb to affect this. So the material, while still showing the darker aspects of the title character, nevertheless whitewashes him considerably too – in real life he seemed to be anti-Semitic and racist, while he also killed someone due to dangerous driving (neither of these two aspects made it into this film). What we do see is still a man with many flaws though with his recklessness, excessive perfectionism, womanising and germ phobia. Leonardo DiCaprio really is excellent in the part it has to be said and shows again just what a skilled actor he really is.
Unusually for a biopic the story begins with Hughes already a millionaire and in the middle of making the World War I fighter-plane epic Hell's Angels. We see the money he threw at this picture and his perfectionist attitude leading to it being a very elongated shoot. Despite the film's huge success, he was never fully accepted by the Hollywood old boy's network and was considered an outsider. It's this aspect that has been used to make a hero of Hughes in this film, a man against the system if you will; even though I am sure the truth was less clear-cut given his massive wealth and more unsavoury character traits. Whatever the case, we see him push the boundaries of acceptability in movies with his violent crime film Scarface (1932) and his racy feature film The Outlaw (1943), we see him design ever more ambitious planes, we hear of him circumnavigating the world, and testing aircraft himself (this includes an expertly filmed sequence where Hughes crashes one of his planes into the middle of a populated area), we witness him founding his own airline TWA and in the process gain powerful business and political enemies which leads to a congressional investigation and finally we see a man suffering from paranoia who becomes a mentally ill recluse.
The story of Hughes life certainly was a dramatic one and Scorsese presents it as such. He even had romances with Katharine Hepburn (played brilliantly by Cate Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale), which adds a glamorous social life to his high profile public achievements. The lush period detail adds a great deal to proceedings with a beautiful look maintained throughout. Scorsese even went so far as to use an old two-strip Technicolor process for the cinematography which leads to the strange moments where we see fields and golf courses replete with blue grass. So, all-in-all, this amounts to another typically well executed, handsome-looking and energetic effort from Scorsese and his first genuinely great collaboration with DiCaprio.
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