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….”
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 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.