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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
Cast
Hilary Swank
Ewan McGregor
Richard Gere
Virginia Madsen
Christopher Eccleston.
Directors
Mira Nair.
Screenwriters
Running Time
111 minutes

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Amelia
Female-centric historical biopic. Yep, it’s Oscar season again


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Plot
1930s aviatrix Amelia Earhart (Swank) captivates the world during the Great Depression, with husband George (Gere) exploiting her celebrity to fund her flying feats before she embarks on the perilous round-the-world flight that will make her legend.


Review
Amelia
Mira Nair bites off a lot to chew in an ambitious biopic of one of the greatest icons of the 20th century, Amelia Earhart. The result is a big, handsome, old-fashioned affair revolving around a heartfelt performance by Hilary Swank in another stunning transformation — this time into the tousle-haired, freckled and toothy tomboy whose spirit, style, exploits and mysterious disappearance continue to fascinate more than 70 years since her plane vanished over the Pacific.

Earhart has been the subject of so many books and films, her disappearance providing fodder for fables as diverse as capture by the Japanese and abduction by aliens, it’s a wonder there’s still more story to be told. But several areas are explored in a busy, bitty screenplay adapted from two of the most recent and exhaustive biographies. One theme is Amelia’s spirited embodiment of Modern Woman, one who refused to acknowledge gender restrictions and who only married the persistent George Putnam after putting in writing that she would not be bound to him. Another is how she was marketed, her name and image used to flog everything from her lines in sporty fashion and luggage to cigarettes and kitchen appliances, decades before every celeb launched a fragrance. (She’s “a better celebrity than a pilot”, one critic snipes.) And then there is the full love-life, her affections and passions divided between the older Putnam (silver fox Gere, alas, finally showing his age and failing to strike sparks) and dashing aviator Gene Vidal (a dandy McGregor). Oh yeah, and she flies a bit, becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic (as a passenger), then the first to do it solo, and notching up several other headline-grabbing firsts for woman or man.

Frankly we couldn’t get enough of the aerial sequences, in wonderful vintage planes, which convey the thrill, the danger and the scenery very well. But the film feels fragmented, flitting around between 1928 and 1937 and international locales, with a record-breaking flight mentioned here and a romantic interlude suggested there, making you want to rush to Wikipedia to fill in the gaps. The clothes are divine, but this only really takes off whenever Amelia slips the surly bonds of earth to touch the sky.


Verdict
Swank’s moving performance, the period dressing and beautiful planes all appeal, but dramatically it doesn’t really soar.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Amelia
Empire Star Rating

It gets the job done neatly

Amelia Earhart is one of those people whose death made her more famous than her life, but she deserved recognition for what she achieved in her 40 years. This movie achieves it. Just about everybody knows that Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared somewhere over the Pacific ocean during an ill-fated attempt to fly around the globe. What is considerably less known to non-aviation buffs is that she was the first person to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger, and later the first ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by magiclips at 08:57, 19 May 2010 | Report This Post


It gets the job done neatly

Amelia Earhart is one of those people whose death made her more famous than her life, but she deserved recognition for what she achieved in her 40 years. This movie achieves it. Just about everybody knows that Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared somewhere over the Pacific ocean during an ill-fated attempt to fly around the globe. What is considerably less known to non-aviation buffs is that she was the first person to fly across the Atlantic as a passenger, and later the first ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by magiclips at 08:57, 19 May 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Amelia

Amelia has a great performances ... More

Posted by sarkark21 at 06:42, 18 March 2010 | Report This Post


Great Pefomances, Stunning Costumes And Beautiful Scenery.

Amelia has great pefomances from Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan Mccgregor. It also has some stunning costumes and jaw-dropping beautiful scenery whenever she flies. A okay film to try out but not one to truely remember. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:15, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post


Great Pefomances, Stunning Costumes And Beautiful Scenery.

Amelia has great pefomances from Hilary Swank, Richard Gere and Ewan Mccgregor. It also has some stunning costumes and jaw-dropping beautiful scenery whenever she flies. A okay film to try out but not one to truely remember. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:15, 16 March 2010 | Report This Post


Amelia

Well, I just wanted to write, or rather point out that the Mira Nair has lifted considerably from other directors in this film. ALL the plane-flying sequences are plagiarised (for lack of a better term), especially the one in which the plane tweens out from the right side of the screen in a hilly area and also the one in which the animals are running away from the plane (both from Sydney Pollack's OUT OF AFRICA). And the picture selected for this review, with Swank glancing at herself on the Pla... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shadowfaux.filien at 16:50, 09 March 2010 | Report This Post


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