Denis and I took advantage of the kids being in daycare today and went to see a movie. I got to pick this time, so we saw Martin Scorcese’s “The Aviator” biopic about Howard Hughes.
And not just because it was about Howard Hughes (who I admit to having a large fascination with after reading his biography several years ago). The whole movie was just interesting and captivating and heartbreaking and all the other -ings that can be used to describe a good movie. Leo DiCaprio was solid – even when acting against an older Cate Blanchett (delightful as Katherine Hepburn).
For those that don’t know, Howard Hughes is responsible for some pretty amazing aviation feats including challenging all those around him to build better planes. His infamous “Spruce Goose” and his determination to keep TWA running despite PanAm’s attempt to shut it down are just two notable things HH faced in his lifetime.
Sadly, he’s more famous for being a wacko recluse and Scorcese showed one of his more famous episodes in the movie (locking himself in a room for 3 months while repeatedly watching “The Outlaw” and peeing in jars that lined the room). It’s also well known that due to his dependency to painkillers after a horrific plane crash that almost killed him his eccentricities got worse and people began to take advantage of it. In his later years he had fired most of the people closest to him due to nefarious recommendations and was eventually surrounded by a “Mormon mafia” that began bleeding his companies of their money while keeping him so high on drugs that he couldn’t take control back of his life.
The movie doesn’t go into all that – it ends sometime in the late 1940s (long before his death in the 1970s) and focuses on his aviation and Hollywood careers. It’s a good movie – very good, in fact.
4 very heavily cleaned stars out of five.
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