Nominated for 62nd Golden Globe Awards 2005

- Best Motion Picture

- Best Director : Martin Scorsese

- Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture : Leonardo DiCaprio

- Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture : Cate Blanchett

- Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Howard Shore

- Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: John Logan

Genre: Drama/Biography
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, Cate Blanchett, Jude Law, John C. Reilly, Gwen Stefani, Adam Scott, Kelli Garner, Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, Ian Holm, Danny Huston
RunTime: 2 hrs 49 mins
Released By: SHAW
Rating: PG

Released Date: 13 January 2005


Leonardo DiCaprio plays billionaire Howard Hughes, who went from wealthy Texas heir — he inherited his father's tool company — to billionaire tycoon. The film follows Hughes' career as a powerful Hollywood producer (he eventually owned RKO Pictures), oil baron, and casino owner, but focuses particularly on his love of aviation, which led him to design his infamous enormous flying boat, the Spruce Goose.

Movie Review:

After "Gangs of New York", Leonardo DiCaprio once again teams up with Director Martin Scorsese for the biopic, "The Aviator". Billionaire Howard Hughes might not be a familiar figure to most of us but he's indeed an iconic figure in the aviator industry and Hollywood in the past.

The larger than life Howard Hughes is not just remembered as an innovative filmmaker, his life is constantly surrounded by starlets and airplanes as well. That is before his complusive disorder and germs phobia conquered the genuis in him which resulted in his own reclusion in a Beverly Hills hotel room in his last two decades of his life. Screenwriter John Logan ("The Last Samurai", "Gladiator") and executive producer DiCaprio wisely focused the whole story on Hughes's mind-blowing and impressive achievements and the result is harrowing.

The movie began with the 19 year old Hughes making his first foray into Hollywood with his own financed World War I epic, "Hell's Angels". Costing US$4 million (which is a huge sum at that time) and 3 years to complete, the movie was deemed doom to many but the young Hughes managed to pull it off with great box-office records. Beside making more controversial movies (the violent "Scarface" and the sexy "The Outlaw"), Hughes never gave up his dream of flying at great speed and believing flying should be made affordable, available to everyone in the future. He comissioned his own engineers, bought the airliner TWA and nearly killed himself in one of the test flight (in one of the most exhilarating air sequences in the movie). Despite all these, he was very much a loner, without proper family support and loyal lover at his side, it's a sad fact to see the man slowly succumb to the world of isolation.

An eye for detail especially the glamourous Hollywood of the past, Director Martin Scorsese shot the movie in great, intricate visual detail. If you look carefully, you would see the movie is shot in the look of Cinecolor and two-strip Technicolor in the beginning which reflects that time period. Note the peas on the plate served in the Cocoanut Grove club.

Kudos to the special effects team for recreating detailed minimature models of past airplanes such as the H-1 Racer, XF-11 spy plane and "The Hercules" and blending them with today's digital technology to create Hughes' glorious inventions.

Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing as Howard Hughes. He is both articulate, smart, handsome and entices empathy from the audience as his character struggles between his intellect and inner demons. If there's one thing about DiCaprio's performance, it's his boyish good looks which hampered his portrayal of Hughes in his later years. Cate Blanchett is wonderfully outstanding as Katharine Hepburn (who romances Hughes for 3 years) unfortunately, Kate Beckinsale's Ava Gardner didn't left much of an impression, nevertheless looks gorgeous. With an excellent supporting cast which includes Alec Baldwin as the head of Pam-Am, the rival of Hughes's TWA, John C. Reilly as his trusty right-hand man and if this is insufficient, it boasts Jude Law and Willem Dafoe in cameo roles.

Cramming close to 3 hours, "The Aviator" is surprisingly the most entertaining biopics ever filmed and coming from the hands of Martin Scorsese, i'm not surprised if this movie won the best picture award. Though much of Hughes's origins, his cause of his illness and his subsequently downfall were hugely left unexplained. One will never forget his contributions to the aviator industry. Howard Hughes was a genuis, a perfectionist in everything he do. A man who created the future. His passion and spirit for chasing the things he loved should be learnt by many of us. I for one cherished and admired that.

Movie Rating:

Review by Linus.T.

  Publicity Stills of "The Aviator" (Courtesy from Shaw)

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