The aviator is the 2004 biographical film about an aviator, director/producer and entrepreneur Howard Hughes played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The aviator is considered as one of the best biographical films released at that time and the most notable aspect is the fact that this was the one film that created an uproar among DiCaprio fans when he lost the 2005 Academy award to Jamie Foxx.
Howard Hughes is an eccentric and ambitious playboy who’s got everything. He is also a daring entrepreneur who would risk everything he has to reach the top; to be fastest aviator, richest man, make the biggest film etc. He also suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, thus making him an anti-social individual at times, like dating several women while he was with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett). The movie covers his ambitious mindset as well as his struggles with OCD.
This is a very long and slow film and it requires a massive amount of patience to sit through. The result is satisfying as it depicts Howard Hughes as someone who will stop at nothing to achieve what he wants to achieve. Anyone who read books about Mr Hughes will understand that. It is not easy to like this person due to his eccentricity and playboy nature. At the same time, he draws in lot of respect for his achievements. Leonardo DiCaprio was indeed robbed that year (even though Jamie Foxx himself was brilliant enough to be an obstacle for DiCaprio’s oscar race). The depiction of mental illness, his obsession is not just about cleanliness but also about going up further. Cate Blanchett will make you believe that she is Katharine Hepburn, from her looks to her mannerisms. She stole the show whenever she was in. Kate Beckinsale gave a fantastic performance as Ava Gardner, especially during her breakdown scenes. The one person who deserves a mention in Alan Alda who played the role of the senator. Inspite of a very small screentime, he managed to stay shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the cast and people will specifically mention him whenever they talk about the performances. Alec Baldwin and Jude maintained their standard performance.
Martin Scorsese’s style of filmmaking is felt throughout the movie watching experience. We are there with these characters, experiencing what they feel. The slow pacing is the only major fault otherwise it is a well-portrayed biopic. The combination of cinematography and Thelma Schoonmaker add their respective blend of flavour to Scorsese’s vision. There are many moments in this film that is worth viewing, like the scene where Hepburn comes to console Hughes during his breakdown. The scene where Gardner helps him back to his feet and sanity. The most appreciated scene is the trial where Hughes openly challenges the Senator where both DiCaprio and Alda add their respective bucks into the performance reel.
The aviator is a must watch film for those love and appreciate biopics and definitely, fans of Leonardo DiCaprio should not miss this amazing work of Scorsese-DiCaprio combination.