I remember when I first saw Leanardo deCaprio in a movie. “What a great child star!”, I thought to myself. I still think that. Trouble is, he seems to be playing adults. Famous adults. That’s harder for me. Every time Cate Blanchett kisses him, I seize up and want to say, “don’t kiss him! He’s young enough to be your son!” When, for all I know, they’re the same age...

While I’m free associating, Marty Scorcese can make films that I find difficult to embrace. He thoroughly and magnificently seduces all of our senses, without asking if we like the subject of said sensory overload.

But I quibble. The Aviator is the story of Howard Hughes, the most fascinating icon of a man in Hollywood history, it is safe to say.

This is certainly a glossy and amazingly detailed story of Hughes and his life from Hollywo

Oh, I know there are those reviewers that are pure of heart that lament us philistines who seem to want to care about at least one of the characters in a film to applaud it. But the opposite is as big a trap. Watching this portrayal, one couldn’t help thinking - man, he couldn’t be all that bad! You can’t see why anyone would like him or want to work with him except for money and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Cate Blanchett - how great is she?! Her look isn’t really that of Hepburn (wise choice), but she has the language and tempo eerily right. She won an Oscar for this portrayal of the you

After the Hepburn portion, the entire cast becomes star cameos and I found that distracting as well.

Certain sequences are more than memorable, particularly the flight where Hughes is deeply injured.

The Aviator is entertaining, absorbing and evocative. The story is interesting from any angle and Scorcese beautifully tells it from his angle. Leonardo is a wonderful actor - even if visually inappropriate, he gives it his all. His final speeches in front of Congress are some of his most impressive acting ever.

I could ramble on, but you will see this if you are drawn to it and you will pass on it if you are so inclined. A large, impressive effort. I’m kinda glad I’m done watching it, though.

Additional Note: I admire the point in Hughes’ story where the film ends.

Copyright © 2006 CTarr