I’m not sure why it took me this long to see Aviator, aside from the reluctance of some friends and family to buy into the fact that Leonardo di Caprio does great work.  During a viewing of The Departed on the F/X Network, I noted that Aviator was next up for the network, so I quickly set my DVR, and I’m glad I did.

I had heard about Howard Hughes a few times growing up, but he’s not exactly someone that we studied in history class, so this was an interesting way to learn more about him.

Cate Blanchett, as you might expect, did a great job. I barely recognized her the first time she was on screen, as she delved so deeply into the Katherine Hepburn role that she seemed to change her mannerisms and accent.  This was probably the best work I’ve ever seen from her, though she was good in Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Alec Baldwin’s character was played similarly to how he plays other powerful, calculating characters, so he was on par with how he has done with those similar roles in the past. He definitely didn’t detract from the movie.

I suppose Kate Beckinsale did a good job as Ava Gardner, though sometimes I’m guilty of discounting an actor’s performance based on whether or not I like the character. I don’t know what it was about the Ava character, but I preferred she not be on screen.

The special effects were well done. There didn’t seem to be many of them, but the ones they did for the aviation scenes were quality.

I’d definitely recommend this film to anyone who’s willing to sit through a well-crafted biopic. I can see why it was in consideration for so many awards. Martin Scorsese does a good job as always.

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