Best Picture Nominations Review 1 – The Aviator

I am on a mission.

I want to see all of the Best Picture nominated films before the Oscars on the 27th of this month.

The first one I saw was The Aviator.

This film is essentially a biopic on Howard Hughes life starting from his big budget ‘Hell’s Angels’ movie through to his test flight of the Hercules (Spruce Goose).

Not really knowing too much about Howard Hughes’ life, I went into this film with a fresh palate and anticipation to be taught and entertained. I, like many others I suspect, was not a big fan of Leonardo Dicaprio after Titanic. But after seeing him in The Beach, my opinions of him changed and I think he is quite a talented actor.

Now, let me just say this. Leonardo is excellent in this film. I mean. REALLY GOOD. So if you’re immediately dismissing this movie cause you don’t like his boyish, teeny-bopper looks, then think again, because you will learn that he can act, and he can bring a character to life. He was definitely the star of this film, but Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn comes close to stealing the show. I don’t know much about Katherine Hepburn and have probably only seen her in On Golden Pond, but Cate apparently does her accent, her mannerisms and her whole persona excellently.

The movie travels along at a fairly brisk pace. Just like Howard Hughes himself, this movie doesn’t pull punches and shows off Hughes’ psychological problems as well as his eccentricities. It also shows him to be a bit of a hero and patriot, which seems to be fair enough if the advances in flight that he contributed to, are depicted correctly in the film.

This is a lavish movie, and the direction of Martin Scorcese gives this movie a sense of awe. More so than any of his previous works that I can remember. The filming of the flying scenes (especially from the Hells Angels movie) and the parties in Hollywood really give this film colour and life. It also seems to have been given a toned effect in the colour of the picture. There is a sepia tone to it, giving the feeling of older movies, with saturated colours. (hard to describe!)

This movie runs a touch under 3 hours, and although I was squirming a little in parts (those Belconnen Hoyts seats are terrible!), this movie keeps your interest from start to finish.

Look out for performances from Gwen Stefani, and an excellent depiction of Errol Flynn by Jude Law. (“I’m not a Limey bastard. I’m a Tasmanian bastard!”). Kate Beckinsale is ravishing as Ava Gardner (she looks like her body double!) and Alan Alda and Alec Baldwin do the ‘bad guy’ thing well.

If this movie is anything to go by, the race for the best picture award will be of a high standard. It’s definitely a promising start to my campaign anyway! I think out of the 11 nominations this film has received, 2 of them seem to be almost tied up. Blanchett for Supporting Actress, and Cinematography, which is amazing, especially with some of the flying scenes.
I think Leo will be in the lead of the Best Actor gong as well, but I will withhold judgement until I have seen Jamie Foxx in ‘Ray’.

Next movie: Finding Neverland

Coming up: Ray, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways

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About Mick

I've been around a while. I like to wrap myself around the warm security of the interwebs which have consumed me since 1993. I whinge, I rant, I crap on. Enjoy. View all posts by Mick

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