The Aviator

2006-03-30 12:52


The Aviator tells the story of Howard Hughes, one of 20th-century America's most pioneering and influential figures. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric billionaire, Scorsese's biopic concentrates on Hughes's life between the 1920s and '40s, when he made some of his most striking contributions to both the film and aviation industries.

At only 25 years of age, Hughes directed the most expensive film ever made up to that point, Hell's Angels (1930). At the same time, he became known as an unabashed playboy, bedding the likes of Jean Harlow (Gwen Stefani), Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale), and Katherine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett).

In the mid-'30s, he turned his attention to the aviation industry, where he quickly became a world-renowned celebrity by several shattering speed and distance records. He continued to test the limits of flight technology, building bigger, faster, and stronger aircrafts. All the while, he struggled with an obsessive-compulsive mental disorder that eventually forced him out of public life.

What the critics are saying:

"Like Hughes' flying boat The Spruce Goose, The Aviator is imposing, spectacular, and hard to get off the ground. But when it takes off, it soars."
- Nev Pierce, BBCi Film

"What a sad man. What brief glory. What an enthralling film, 166 minutes, and it races past."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"It's stylish and fleet, and even though it's meticulously detailed, Scorsese's devotion to technique never weighs it down."
- Stephanie Zacharek,

Martin Scorsese's sumptuous biopic successfully balances a sweeping historical epic with the intimate portrait of a brilliant but deeply troubled man.

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