I find this film to be the best of 2004, easily. The sets and lighting are rich and colorful. The film clearly has the visual style and technical prowess that it deserves and needs for its story. The story itself spans Hughes life for 20 yrs. From the filming of his first film "Hells Angels" to his flying of the spruce goose in 1947. The performances are also of note. Especially Leonardo Dicaprio, finally shedding his teeny boy image with his portrayal of Howard Hughes. Gritty and realistically playing a man of many demons and phobias. Also of note is Cate Blanchett as Kate Hepburn. She is magnificent while making Hepburn a real person instead of the impersonation she could have been. Also praise must be said about Alec Baldwin( with the best use of the f word in in modern movies), Alan Alda, Danny Houston, Matt Ross, John C.Reily(strongly playing Noah Deitrich), Adam Scott and Kate Beckinsale expertly playing Ava Gardner. This film is a treat for movie goers who loves films from all eras. The score, performances, lighting, camera-work, directing, script and the production itself sore as some of the best in recent years. A must see.
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