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The Aviator

Rented The Aviator, the Leonard DiCaprio sendup of Howard Hughes. A very linear and largely honest action-bio. An especially fine cast, including Alan Alda as a senator. Once you simply accept that you are watching a dramatized exaggeration, the next step is to compare its shaping to what you really know. I knew a bit of Hughes' history, so I can say that a good job was done in showing him more or less as he COULD BE at times: driven, brilliant, abrasive, charming and eventually withered by OCD. That aspect is poignantly shown when he cannot bring himself to touch the doorknob that would let in a friend. Its not shown in a maudlin manner; it simply shows the man suffering. Its painful to see and you get all too close a glimpse of a serious case. All in all, it's basically fair to him, good and bad.

The aerial work is very fine and the scene of his horrific plane crash into Beverly Hills becomes increasingly excruciating to watch as it plays out. It feels a bit long, but its well crafted in every way and I didn't feel that a minute of my time was wasted.

--Hellpope Huey