With Scorsese’s long-gestating Silence finally coming out later this month, and Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes-related Rules Don’t Apply having recently come and gone in theaters, Scorsese’s own Hughes biopic has surely popped back into people’s minds recently. But The Aviator is worth revisiting now in light not only of Beatty’s truly strange screwball comedy-drama, but of Scorsese’s output since then.
The Aviator is a confounding movie, asking us to identify with and understand a man who would never have been able to come down from the clouds and meet us eye to eye. But this is one thing that cinema can do, making the larger than life seem not only on the level but also, even, smaller than us.
By and large I think this movie’s chief function is to give Scorsese an opportunity to indulge in the pleasures of big-time filmmaking and to treat the audience to a heady dose of glamour — knocking our socks off with period re-creations of the Cocoanut Grove, Grauman’s Chinese, and two-strip Technicolor. All that’s justification enough for any entertainment, and on this level The Aviator does even better than most of Hughes’s own movies… There just isn’t a lot to chew on once it’s over.
This film is a document of Scorsese's mastery. The use of elements like filtered colors or the dancing camera (being a prolongation or counterpart of the actors' body movements) are evidence for his thoughtful work. And the brillant madness sequence in the private cinema with its abusive confrontation of body and film pictures is a highlight of autoreflexive use of visual media and (like in the whole picture) light.
its really quite underwhelming. the film does not deal with enough of hughes real reclusive activity in later years, and some of the scenes are wonderful set pieces, with superb acting and superlative visuals and other scenes are just plain mediocre. cate blanchett seems to parody katharine hepburn at times and at others is superb. this film just seems so inconsistent, and all over the place.
Enjoyed parts of the film, but some of the casting ruined it for me. Didn't dig Kate Beckinsale as Ava. And Leonardo and Alda--well, I'm just always painfully aware that I'm watching Leonardo DiCaprio in Leo films and Alan Alda in Alda films. Does this make sense?? It does in my head.
After rewatching, I can really say that this is one fine film. Scorsese knows his craft so well, and has put together such a polished (aside from the CGI) piece of work. DiCaprio didn't bore me like he's started to lately, and Blanchett is gosh darn superb!
I don't understand the negative reaction to this film, either. It's probably not accurate historically, but it certainly is thematically. Meaning, I've never seen a better portrait of perfectionism, of the uncompromising eccentricities that all visionaries possess.
DiCaprio is impressive, but at several points the film feels a bit too much like a Standard Hollywood Biopic. However, there are some electrifying and highly effective moments/scenes that make it soar higher. Certainly worth watching.