The Aviator is the sort of film that rides in the wake of the big players who soared and sank in the game of life.
Howard Hughes lived a glorious life, dabbling his billions into making expensive movies, acquiring aviation toys and courting the favour of Hollywood luminaries.
For all his extravagance and dazzling moments, Hughes’ real life ends in dismal isolation, but The Aviator (check out the Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) revels in the half-full end of the cup, Hughes’ glory years.
Leonardo Dicaprio is the 21 year old Hughes: Ambitious and with the world at his feet, he launches into his film debut, Hell’s Angels, an expensive movie about two pilots during World War I that became a success despite derision by the film industry at the time.
But a man like Hughes isn’t about to be brought down by words. His lavish courtship of Katharine Hepburn, played by Cate Blanchett, and his dare-devil streak lay testimony to a man who did justice to the line ‘Live every moment like it’s your last’.
Though The Aviator does illuminate moments of Hughes hidden depths, an inner darkness that finally drove him into isolation, the driving force of the movie soars too high above the clouds to ever hit the ground.