The new Hilary Swank, Richard Gere led film, 'Amelia
,' is a tale of two films. The cast is stellar and the cinematography is simply wonderful; unfortunately something is awry with the script since the film is entirely too long, dry and lacking when it comes to an interesting or an in depth storyline between the two lead characters of Amelia Earhart (played by Hilary Swank
) and her husband/man behind the career, George Putnam (played by Richard Gere
The film covers only the most basic portions of Earhart and Putnam's time together in saying that they were in an open marriage and business partners. This leaves the audience with unanswered questions that always lead back to wondering why they were together and what each saw in the other.
Instead of having any sort of dialogue that would express the love that they might have had for one another or dialogue that would have added depth to their relationship or characters, the screen is overly filled with several instances containing minutes of Earhart's poetry about flying via voiceover, visuals of her taking notes and radioing in her location.
There came a time during the film when I was ready for the dry moments and dialogue to come to an end when I then realized that since Earhart was only planning her Atlantic solo trip that they were nearly a decade in time away and an hour worth of film away from her trip around the world.
Essentially the film leaves you wanting more from it in less time; but this isn't to say that all is lost when it comes to 'Amelia.'
The Lockheed Electra airplane which Earhart used in her doomed flight around the world is a true scene stealer and when given the screen all to itself shows breathtaking views of the southern half of Africa where it was filmed. The Electra lights up the audience with its shined finish, simplicity and the beauty with which it moves.
Image © Paramount Vantage
Both Hilary Swank and Richard Gere give excellent performances with the dialogue with which they were given. Swank spent eight weeks learning the voice of Earhart, which although impressive, sort of agitated my sweet little ears due to Earhart's apparent natural way of speaking being one that had an up-down extreme and added a "who" before most all words that begin with a "w." Who-where, who-why, who-way, who-when…oddly enough, who was just who and not who-who. Go figure.
Other performances worthy of highlighting are that of Ewan McGregor
who portrays Earhart's friend and lover, Gene Vidal, as well as the performance of Christopher Eccleston
who portrays round the world navigator, Fred Noonan.
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All four give performances that will likely be in the running for an Oscar and Golden Globe; particularly Christopher Eccleston. His character of Fred Noonan was the one with the most depth and arch. Eccleston's performance gives you the sense of truly being there in the plane with Earhart, and makes you feel the same chills that Noonan and Earhart must have felt upon realizing their impending doom.
When the film was over I couldn't help but have strong hopes that director Mira Nair made the film to go along with and be in sequence with a Pink Floyd
album; much the way Pink Floyd's The Wall happens to line up in sequence with The Wizard Of Oz
'Amelia,' a Fox Searchlight release, is rated PG; has a running time of 111 minutes and hits theaters October 23rd!
Three stars out of five.
Story by Eric Stromsvold
Starpulse contributing writer