Sunday, 15 November 2009

REVIEW: Amelia

I'm going to go on record saying that Hilary Swank is the most obscure two-time Oscar winner there ever was. Except when she's winning the golden guy, she seems to be kind of OK in kind of OK movies. Amelia is no exception to this rule, and it is so very bland and unimpressive. Its another one of those biopics that just shows you meaningful events in its subjects life and expects you to be amazed, but given that most of the characters are contrived to fit the Amelia Earhart best of time-line, most are misfires struggling with painfully stilted dialogue that certainly does sound like it was written by a couple of biographers. And that's the problem, its a movie for historians who expect us to be as so fascinated by the history that we won't notice their complete lack of nuance and story-telling skills. But we aren't and we did.

For the plot wikipedia search Amelia Earhart, but for those who feel physically unable to do that, she was a trailblazing female pilot in the early 20th century, who broke through the glass ceiling for both feminism and aviation. In theory its quite an interesting story to tell, and it certainly should have one hell of an ending, but this movie even slightly flubs that. (SPOILER ALERT) Where it should have been heart-breaking one couldn't help but think when will she die already so I can go home (END OF SPOILER ALERT). Hilary Swank's performance nicely summarizes most of this movies faults too, with it being an intensely detailed surface imitation with no real depth to it, like Swank went great lengths to grasp Earhart's physical demeanor but completely ignored the content of her character. Which is only like the most important part. In that sense, it a very shallow performance she gives, all surface no depth, which like I said could pretty much define this movie. Richard Gere, playing her husband and PR man, is a little lost, giving another wooden performance to add to his collection. He can be good, but probably averages a 1 in 5 good performance rate, which quite frankly is not great. Ewan McGregor's role as Earhart's mistress (Is there a masculine term for that word?) is damn near irrelevant because this movie is so much more interested in Earhart's exploits then her person, which could have been fine if her exploits has been filmed in a slightly more interesting way, but director Mira Nair is quite pedestrian in her pace and style, reeking of average. Also there were just way too many swirling newspaper headlines Mira, and that got old in about 1949, so what its doing here in so much prominence is beyond me. If there is one good performance I guess it would be Christopher Ecclestone's alcoholic navigator, who despite having only a couple of scenes with which to work manages to make a bigger impression then many more featured characters.

This is the worst kind of winter movie. Delusions of winning Oscars cut short when they realize what a run of the mill and ultimately dull movie they have made. Its not terrible, but if it was it would have been more memorable. This is some boring shit.

Rating: 5/10

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