Saturday, October 24, 2009


Movie name: Amelia
Year of release: 2009
Director: Mira Nair
Stars: Hillary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Joe Anderson, Cherry Jones, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Abrams, Dylan Roberts, William Cuddy
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2

Synopsis:Mira Nair is an interesting director with an uneven quality in her output of films. Her previous effort met with good reviews was "The Namesake" a film that dealt with her cultural Indian heritage (as does her celebrated films "Monsoon Wedding" and "Salaam Bombay"). It seems to be where the director is more at ease, since her western efforts like "Vanity Fair" and now "Amelia" have been met with disappointing reviews. "Amelia" is quite possibly her worst film yet. The film follows the life of celebrated and iconic "aviatrix" Amelia Earhart. She's introduced briefly as a young girl in Kansas looking at planes and later on as a pilot who is taken under the wing of George Putnam, an editor who decides to make her famous and make a profit out of it. Their relationship eventually evolves to an amorous one, while Amelia falls in love with Gene Vidal, himself an expert in the aviation field. The film follows some of the events of Amelia's life until her disappearance in 1937 while attempting to make the round the world journey with her co-pilot Fred Noonan. Amelia Earhart is one of the icons of American history and it's too sad to see a film that is nothing but a pale showcase of her rich life. The film tries to mix elements of "Out of Africa" and "The English Patient", painting a broad and rich romantic canvas, but in the end, it feels like a made for TV movie of the week. The cliches are all there, from the dialogue, to the inevitable lovers in the beach scene. The acting is mediocre, from the overrated Hillary Swank to Ewan McGregor, who is totally wooden in the film. The photography from Stuart Dryburgh (who did so well in Jane Campion's "The Piano") is beautiful, but this film is just totally mediocre and poorly done and conceived. Go see Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" to see where cinematic ambition and good acting can take a film.