Rating: Active Eruption
Everyone remembers a few strange stories about legendary Howard Hughes, but this phenomenal film weaves together the history, the personality, the motivations, the love life, and the ambition of the man. This is hands-down the best film of the entire season. It has drama, suspense, glamour, romance, and even a bit of humor. Leo DiCaprio is exquisite in this role as Howard Hughes. His Hollywood romances include Katherine Hepburn, played flawlessly by Cate Blanchett, and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale). DiCaprio and Blanchett should definitely be Oscar contenders. They were breathtaking performances.
We are also treated to outstanding performances by Alec Baldwin who plays villain Juan Trippe, the CEO of competitor TWA, and Alan Alda, who plays a paid-off Senator in cahoots with Trippe. The special effects and setting of Hughes’ aircraft ventures and movie production sets were fabulous. And we would expect no less from director Martin Scorsese.
Viewers learn about Hughes, the visionary in the history of the aircraft industry. His genius, brilliance and unflagging ambition are carried throughout the film. At the same time, his mental and psychological afflictions threaten his stability at crucial points in his career and relationships. A complicated, strange and often quirky character to be sure, but certainly fascinating.
Treat yourself to this film at least once on the big screen. Definitely an Active Eruption, and here’s hoping for the best for the Oscars!