Jack Goes Confidential: AMELIA takeoff fails to reach altitude!

I was really, really looking forward to enjoying Hilary Swank in the title role of Amelia Earhart.

That was last week before I glanced at VARIETY’s early review of the film.

Here’s a quote from their thumbs-down take on the film:

“To say that AMELIA never gets off the ground would be an understatement; it barely makes it out of the hangar….what rankles most about AMELIA is the timidity and lack of imagination with which (director) Mira Nair approached one of America’s most exceptional and intriguing celebrity life stories….”

My take?

It’s not a fair portrayal of the film which was culled from two separate biographies.

AMELIA is more of an old-fashioned sweeping approach to telling the extraordinary life story of an adventure celebrity, and the continuing mystery surrounding the disappearance of legendary aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Her plane disappeared in 1937 while on a flight around the world.

Incidentally Earhart’s birthplace of Atchinson, Kansas gets but a single mention in the picture.

Hilary Swank as Amelia is flawless. Her story of becoming the first woman to successfully fly across the Atlantic, and who was hailed America’s Sweetheart and the Goddess of Flight IS unveiled here loud and clear.

No doubt about it, Earhart’s inspiration to people—especially women—comes through on the screen!

We see her pushing the envelope. Flirting with danger. Her shaky marriage to publishing mogul, husband and promoter George P. Putnam played by Richard Gere. And her longtime friend—and brief lover—Gene Vidal portrayed by Ewan McGregor.

So what’s missing?

Sure the movie is beautifully photographed, staged and scored. But it lacks an edge that would have made it stand out and be special.

Instead it’s got the feel and flavor of maybe last year’s AUSTRALIA with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Not enough sizzle. Leaving this viewer unsatisfied. Wanting more.

Hilary Swank is a first rate actress with 1999’s BOYS DON’T CRY and 2004’s MILLION DOLLAR BABY to her credit.

Of course there were also the more recent lean times for Swank with such underperformers as THE READING, FREEDOM WRITERS, and THE BLACK DAHLIA.

Now with AMELIA she’s back in top form. But that’s not to say that the movie itself is.

But YOU be the judge as the bio-drama raises 3.5 out of 5 fingers on my hand.

Jack Poessiger

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio 980-KMBZ / at 7:50 a.m. on 98.1-KUDL / and at 8:15 a.m. on CLASSICAL KXTR.

Also anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND-Channel 113.

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5 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: AMELIA takeoff fails to reach altitude!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why are the critics so rough on this movie? I heard that it’s much better than reviewed by Robert Butler in the Star.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure you are aware that the picture of “Amelia” on the right is actually Amy Adams from “Night at the Museum 2”, and not Hilary Swank.

  3. Anonymous says:

    this damn thing thing put me to sleep.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I heard from friends “Amelia” is a pretty good movie. Why did it do so poorly this weekend? Did the critics kill it?

  5. Anonymous says:

    So, Jack is left “wanting more” of Hillary Swank. Isn’t that the sign of a great relationship?

    And–I agree that the photo is NOT Hillary–come on, Hearne–correct this now please! After all, Jack wants more of Hillary. Not Amy.

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