on 9 December 2010
Hilary Swank is wonderful in the title role, and the aeroplanes sequences are stunning (very little computer generated images, unlike Pearl Harbour for example). And the other actors are great on their own. But the movie just doesn't come together as a whole.
The story is based on the real life of Amelia Earhart which is well known and full of drama. Yet Hollywood (again) has managed to produce a story that is at times.... boring.
Worth watching just for the aircraft and Hilary Swank's uncanny recreation of Amelia (compared to old newreel footage -- you have to look hard to see the difference). But a shame the personal relationships could not have been more believable.
Prior to watching this film I fully admit that I didn't know a great deal about the life and work of Amelia Earhart apart from the most basic facts, so I was grateful that this film filled in some of the gaps. Hilary Swank was her usual brilliant self and I have to admire the fact that she seems to fully inhabit every character she plays. Richard Gere as her publisher husband George Putnam was also impressive. However, the much lauded 'love triangle' was somewhat of a damp squib as there didn't appear to be a great deal of chemistry between Swank and Ewan McGregor, playing her lover Gene Vidal, who seemed to be replicating his character in 'Down with Love' a little too much for my taste.
That being said, it's a very watchable film and made me want to know more about the various conspiracy theories surrounding Earhart's disappearance. It was also interesting to see the origins of author and playwright Gore Vidal.
Women are not much into histories and documentaries and guys aren't much into romances. It took me a good 30-40 minutes before I could get into the film. Hilary Swank portrays Amelia as a woman who wanted to prove herself in a man's world, perhaps more to herself than to make a statement. She always wanted to test her boundaries, both as a pilot and in her personal life. After her early successes she was a "booth girl" marketing products and being asked questions about what she wore.
The film covers the highlights of her life and includes her affair with Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor) who perhaps makes a better leading man than Richard Gere. We do see some early foreboding as when Amelia crosses the Atlantic looking for Paris, lands in Ireland...now on her final trip around the world she has a navigator with a drinking problem and she needs to find a small island in the Pacific to refuel (something smaller than the European continent that she missed). Guess how that works out?
The problem with this film is that they made it complex. It is a woman's story of achieving in a man's world. It is a love story. It is a romance. It is a history. But it wasn't an action film or a thriller.
3 1/2 stars
on 10 December 2012
This DVD, as the title indicates is about a person. I was hoping for more airplane an technical footage, but that was not what the title said, so I can't complain. There was a hint at one point about competition among female aviators like Jacqueline Cochran, (a friend of Amelia Earhart) Harriet Quimby and Bessie Coleman, but not developed. No one can please everyone.
on 2 January 2012
Granted that the deleted scenes would have made the movie a bit more "complete" and complex, this movie was a thrill to watch from beginning to end. It is well acted and I found it very easy to identify with the characters of the movie.
The scenes between Hillary Swank and screen veteran Richard Gere felt organic and honest and not as cheesy as some reviewers suggested.
I can wholehartedly recommend this movie to all viewers.
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...
on 5 May 2010
Not a bad movie - it works fairly well and does tell her story quite well.
A little disjointed and the characters could have been a little more developed but not a bad film.
What I did like was the last section which dealt with her final flight , told simply and directly.
on 12 February 2011
Having read a lot about Amelia Earhart, I bought this DVD in the hope that it accurately followed the life of her and George Putnam. I thought that Hilary Swank and Richard Gere were perfectly cast as the charismatic pair. I would liked to have seem some of her earlier life portrayed as she was, indeed, an aviator of some very considerable talent, knocking up many records even before she met Putnam. With his backing, she became the first woman(albeit accompanied) to cross the Atlantic in 1928, a year after Lindberg's solo flight. Little is also made of her solo Atlantic flight,which was exactly five years after Lindberg, a clever promotional move by the ever resourceful Putman.
Although the film is quite solid in it's factuality (in particular the end of her world flight in which I believe the dialogue between her and the operators at Howland Island is verbatim), it is a pity that part of it dwelt on her romantic relationship with Gene Vidal. This is based on rumour and, as is other tales of her relationships, has never been verified.
On the whole the film is still, however, good viewing.
If you want to know more, I highly recommend "The Sound of Wings" by Mary S Lovell, which is a very well researched and written biography of George Putnam as well as Amelia.
on 27 December 2013
I loved this! I've been an AE fan for almost 60 years and this is almost like seeing her alive today.
I rarely see movies and haven't had a TV in nearly three decades so I'm no fan of visual entertainment. On the other hand, I am an aviation buff and a fan of 30's and 40's music. I noticed some differences between the Electra in the film and Amelia's. Nothing major but they were there for all to see. The only real mistake in the film was during a dance sequence. A band was playing and there was a girl singer. The mistake was the musicians were white and the singer was black. That wouldn't have happened back then except perhaps in a jazz club and maybe even after hours at that. The aviation scenes were done to perfection, to the point of being breathtakingly real.
The story is pretty close to the truth as far as the historical events are concerned. Some of it was dramatized, of course.
Later I saw 'The Final Flight' on DVD. It looks like the production team of 'Amelia' paid very close attention to the earlier film. There were a number of resemblances to 'The Final Flight' in 'Amelia' and a fair number of corrections, not the least of which was substituting a Lockheed Electra 12 for the Beechcraft 18 used in 'The Final Flight' Amelia's real aircraft was a Lockheed Electra 10E, a little larger and more powerful than the Electra 12. I also think the casting for 'Amelia' was much better, especially concerning George Palmer Putnam, Amelia's husband.
I think that Hillary Swank did a super job playing Amelia and that goes beyond the physical resemblance. I doubt that any other actress could have portrayed AE better than Swank did.
I'll admit it. There were times that I choked up and even shed a few tears throughout, seeing my heroine come to life like this.
I have two copies of this DVD. The first was bought at the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchinson, Kansas in August of 2013. I brought that one to my adult grand daughter in California about ten days later and I recently got a copy for myself to keep.
I'm glad the movie didn't go into speculation about how she disappeared. I personally believe they missed Howland for whatever reason and came down in the Marshall Islands, intentionally or otherwise, and were picked up by the Japanese military a few days later. Then they were eventually taken to Saipan and died from disease or execution by the Japanese.
on 14 May 2012
Amelia stars two-time Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart, the legendary aviatrix and enigmatic symbol of the American free spirit, who was guided by a profound curiosity for everything life had to offer.
Earhart's early aviation triumphs and meteoric rise to fame and fortune were propelled along by her tempestuous partnership and eventual marriage to publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere). Bound by mutual ambition, admiration and, ultimately a great love, their bond could not be broken even with her brief passionate affair with Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor).
Ms. Earhart was the first woman to solo the Atlantic and was the first pilot, man or woman, to fly unaccompanied across the Pacific. In Amelia's attempt to be the first to fly around the world in an equatorial flight her life was tragically cut short with her mysterious and untimely disappearance over the South Pacific in 1937.
WHAT CAN I SAY ?
Visionary. Lover. Dreamer. Fighter. Legend. Icon.
what an extraordinary woman Amelia Earhart was ...
Defying The Impossible and Living The Dream .
The story of the film is crafted very well. Indeed. Told from the point of view of the around the world flight, with flashbacks to Amelia's earlier memories and struggles flying and promoting herself as a Pilot.
A lot of important early aviation history was woven into the film..This is a period piece and a character study -- both very well done Gere and Swank exhibit high level acting skills here and the story moves well from scene to scene.
Watch the film for its real appeal -
the story of a courageous woman,
ahead of her time,
who seized every opportunity to live her dreams, whatever the consequence.