Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Amelia" follows her dream

I saw the sneak preview of Amelia last night. Oscar winner Hilary Swank stars as Amelia Earhart. Everyone knows how Earhart's story ends, but I didn't know much about her life, so it was an interesting film in that sense. The film isn't particularly exciting - informative is a good way to describe it.

The film, directed by Mira Nair, centers around Kansas-native Earhart's attempt to fly around the world. We see her stop in different countries throughout the film. At times, this jumping from past to future got a bit confusing. Earhart follows her dream of flying and freedom at all expenses. Swank definitely had the haircut down-pat judging from photos. As for Earhart's voice, I've never heard a video of her speaking, but her voice was unique

George Putnam (Richard Gere) manages Earhart's career. After she makes a successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean, she becomes very famous. Putnam proposes marriage to her several times, which she refused because she wasn't the marrying kind, before she actually agrees on certain terms. Later, Earhart has an affair with aviation expert Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor).

Eventually Earhart ends the affair and stays with her husband. In 1937 Earhart's plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean after losing radio contact. Though her plane was never found, the film made it seem that it ran out of fuel.

The clothes in the film were fabulous. Looking at old photographs of Earhart, it looks as if they were able to replicate her clothing to a tee. In one scene Earhart wears a full fox stole and in another she wears a great feathered hat.

It was also interesting to see plane dynamics during the 1930s (they actually lifted off from the water for the transatlantic flight!). In one particularly lively scene Earhart takes Eleanor Roosevelt (Cherry Jones) on a flight over Washington, D.C.

Even though Earhart died over 70 years ago, the story seemed relevant because she mentioned several times about having so much when so many people had so little. The country was going through the Great Depression and many found hope in Earhart's story. The film opens tomorrow, October 23.

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