Starring Hillary Swank, Richard Gere, and Ewen McGregor
Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding)
Rated PG for some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking
Appropriate for ages 10+
In the 1920’s and 30’s daring female pilot Amelia Earhart (Swank) attempted to break several flying records including a trip across the Atlantic and a journey around the world from which she never returned. This film attempts to chronicle her life, loves and struggles.
As expected, this film is beautiful to look at with stunning cinematography by Academy Award nominee Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano). To add to the sweeping landscapes is the lush score by Academy Award winning composer Gabriel Yared (The English Patient). From start to finish, there is no doubt that the production of the film is first rate all the way.
And the acting from Swank is exactly what you would expect. She looks the part exactly and she was very convincing in the role. If only she had a better script to work from.
There was something off about the story that I couldn’t exactly put my finger on. Many will say that the film is just boring, and I do think that the pacing and directing could have been better, but I think with a better script we would have been a much more satisfied audience. First off, I never got the importance of Amelia’s trips. I know why she said she wanted to fly across the ocean or around the world, but I never felt or understood it. I never got into the heart of the character. I don’t blame this on Swank, but rather on the writing failing to bring me in touch with the heroine. So what happens when the audience gets disconnected? They get bored. They lose focus. In a two hour movie this can be devastating.
There were other faults throughout, such as a failure to fully explain the love stories and the suddenness of the drinking problem of the navigator, but those little things can’t bring down a film like an audience that can’t cheer for its heroine, even if they know she’s going to die in the end. C-