Saturday, April 2, 2011

Aviator (2004)

This biographical film depicts the life of Howard Hughes, who is a successful filmmaker, creating numerous controversial films, and legendary aviator, accomplishing several world air-speed records throughout his lifetime. In addition, he is known to be one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Howard’s filmmaking career begins to prosper rapidly, receiving an Academy Award for his film Two Arabian Knights, which is the first time a comedy picture won the Best Director Award. Several of his high-budget films are Hell’s Angel, Scarface, and The Outlaw, which are large box-office success and claim to be highly controversial.

Being an icon in the 20th century, Howard Hughes has magnetized countless glamorous divas in Hollywood such as Billie Dove, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Olivia de Havilland, Katharine Hepburn, and Gene Tierney. But only one truly captures his heart. His relationship with Katharine Hepburn was well depicted in the film, which was adeptly portrayed by Cate Blanchett.

As an iconic industrialist and an aircraft enthusiast, Howard purchases the Transcontinental and Western Air, later known as the Trans World Airlines (TWA). He tests flies the H-1 Racer and sets a speed of 352mph, travels around the world in 91 hours also surpassing the previous record by nearly 4 days, and was also in the disastrous crash of the XF-11, sustaining numerous injuries such as a crushed collarbone and chest, 24 fractured ribs, one inflated lung, shifting the heart to the right side of the chest cavity, and several 3rd degree burns after his plane plummeted in several houses in Beverly Hills. Hughes was extremely lucky to survive after that near-fatal accident.

However, nothing could derail his vision. Howard Hughes, the most influential man in aviation history, is greatly known for building the H-1 Hercules, also known as the "Spruce Goose," is the largest, heaviest plane with the longest wingspan ever assembled in the world. This magnificent aircraft is currently in the Evergreen Aviation Museum in Oregon. However, this record was later exceeded by the Antonov 225 because, although the H-1 Hercules is still taller and wider, it is short and only covered a distance of 1 mile with Howard as the pilot while the An-225 has been flown farther distances and at a higher altitude.

After seeing such an outstanding film, Aviator definitely earned its 5 Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, and Supporting Actress. Leonardo did a superb job and is perfectly casted for the role. Martin Scorsese, as always, is a brilliant director and the cinematography is sensational.

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