One can't but help that feel that this a movie about romance; the love affair between Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank) and the freedom of flight and flying plus the romantic interludes with her husband, George Putnam (a bespectacled Richard Gere).
There is also the motive of a woman, fighting so hard in a man's world, none more so than in aviation - and succeeding. Romantic comedy director, Mira Nair, most famous for Monsoon Wedding is the unlikely choice to take the reigns here.
Unfortunately, for my eyes and ears, it's just too soft, both in its narrative focus and its substance. Predictable and to a certain extent, even though we might not know her actual story, we can guess it, until at which point comes the 'biggy', it's an anti-climax and too late to save the movie.
The role of Earhart might not have had the juicy possibilities of Oscar standard acting as Swank's two Academy wins and thus, the persona she projects just doesn't seem to tie in with what we would expect a maverick and pioneer to be - and need to be like to simply get on with their venture.
Richard Gere is O.K., in a role that again just seems too obliging and mushy. Brits in major roles, Christopher Eccleston as Fred Noonan, who, if I recall plays an American pilot who liked a guzzle of booze too often and was Earhart's co-pilot on the her last flight and higher billed, Ewan McGregor. He plays Gene Vidal, father of Gore and with whom Earhart has an extra-marital 'jaunt' with. McGregor is unusually forgettable in the role and I already can't quite remember all that the pair did.
Hollywood did films like these (admittedly with men, all round) which were a dime a dozen, in the 50's & 60's - and they had bite and a sense of heroic purpose. More gun-ho, admittedly but better entertainment.
Amelia isn't a total waste of time, even though at times you may wonder if it is during its near two hours. And you will learn something, if you can keep paying attention...