The last thing I expected to be doing on a rare weekday off was to be going to a movie. But when I opened my newspaper this morning I actually spotted a film that I was interested in seeing. "Amelia" is a biographical motion picture that dramatizes the life of the legendary female aviator Amelia Earhart. Since I am a huge history buff I simply could not resist.
Now if you are looking non-stop action, strong charactors and breathtaking special effects then I suspect that "Amelia" will probably not be your cup of tea. Director Mira Nair has given us a film that more closely resembles the films of the 1940's and 1950's. Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank) was a spirited young woman when she arrived in New York to meet with book publisher George Putman (Richard Gere) to discuss her possible participation in a trans-Atlantic flight. Putnam was offering her a book deal and fame but what the public did not know was that Amelia was to be nothing more than an observer on that first flight across the Atlantic. This revelation came as a complete surprise to me as well. Nevertheless Amelia Earhart would become an overnight sensation. Meanwhile, George Putman had fallen head over heels for the pretty young farm girl from Kansas. Amelia had little interest in being tied down but Putnam's persistance finally won the day. The couple was married in 1931. Shortly thereafter Amelia would meet up with a dashing young man who shared her love of flying. Gene Vidal (Evan McGregor) would become Amelia's soul mate resulting in a very uncomfortable triangle for a period of time.
But there was certainly no force on earth that was going to keep Amelia grounded. In 1932, a mere five years after Charles Lindbugh turned the trick, Amelia Earhart completed the first successful trans-Atlantic solo flight by a woman. Then in 1935, Earhart became the first person ever to fly from Hawaii to California. Now Amelia wanted to reach for the golden ring. She wanted to be the first person in history to fly all the way around the globe. There were so many obstacles to be overcome but Amelia was bound and determined. "Amelia" does an outstanding job of chronicling the events of that final flight, most particularly during those last tensioned filled hours. Her husband George and the entire nation anxiously awaited word of her fate.
When all is said and done I really did like "Amelia". While this is not a great film I do not take as dim a view of it as many of the critics. I suspect that most of these critics are a good deal younger than I am. I believe that older audiences will flock to "Amelia" since there are very few films that appeal to this demographic these days. Also, given the historical nature of the film I believe it will be quite successful when it is released on DVD. In my view this one certainly rates as a solid +3 offering. Nothing wrong with that. Recommended.
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Hilary Swank and Richard Gere star in director Mira Nair's biopic tracing the life of famed aviator Amelia Earhart -- who made history in 1932 by becoming the first woman ever to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Five years later, as Earhart attempted to fly around the world, the pilot and her plane simply vanished after crashing into the Pacific Ocean. Virginia Madsen and Ewan McGregor co-star in the Avalon Pictures production. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide