Amelia Doesn’t Soar to New Heights

AmeliaFirst you’ve got Oscar-winner Hilary Swank.  Next, add in some Richard Gere and then throw in a little Ewan McGregor for good measure.  What do you have?  An extremely talented cast, that’s what.  Amelia is a film about the professional and private life of famed aviator, Amelia Earhart.  I will sheepishly admit, even as someone who is interested in history, I knew little of the woman, other than she disappeared on what was to be a record-setting flight.  Just to further display my debt of knowledge, I thought Ms. Earhart died on an attempted trans-Atlantic journey, but as you will find out, that was not the case.

There really isn’t much to comment on regarding the quality of acting.  It pretty much goes without saying that each thespian is capable of doing an impressive job portraying their character on the big screen.  Yet, it seemed like Richard Gere stole the show as George Putnam; husband to Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank).  His delivery left an impact on me as far as who was memorable in this rather uninspiring film.  Though the film had some flow to it, it came across a bit choppy, as if someone was hitting the fast-forward button on the remote.  You’ll quickly realize that Amelia and crew mate are making their way on the ill-fated voyage throughout the film, while the majority of the content playing out on screen is comprised of events that took place prior to her last flight. 

Though this method of telling the story wasn’t completely confusing, there were times throughout the movie when things just jumped significantly.  Take for instance that trans-Atlantic flight that Amelia did successfully complete.  One minute she lands in Ireland, the next scene she’s back in the States in her husband’s arms.  That left me scratching my head wondering what in the world happened from not just point A to B, but point A to M.  All of a sudden she’s home and there are newspaper headlines flashing on the screen about landing in Paris.  Paris??  That part was totally omitted.  It was like someone reciting the alphabet but skipping every fourth letter. 

For me, the movie really started when Amelia and navigator Fred Noonan, played by Christopher Eccleston, jumped on board Lockheed’s custom plane known as the Electra, in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.  Sadly, it was to be Earhart’s last time at the helm.  Though we all know the outcome of this flight, it was still tension-inducing listening to the hit-or-miss radio contact between the Electra and U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca. 

Unfortunately, the film didn’t push forth a lot high level emotion of any kind during the rest of the film.  It was a ho-hum ride that never quite reached my expectations.  This film lacked pop and just didn’t stir anything within.  Save it for a Blu-ray rental.  As for all the Oscar buzz that’s already surrounding Amelia, don’t get caught up in the hype.  Gere is worthy of a nomination but Swank, McGregor and the film itself do not measure up.  Because it’s a drama of historic proportions, people start wetting their pants right away.  This film is more like 2 hours dangling sleep right in front of your face.  


 Amelia Theatrical Poster



1 Response to “Amelia Doesn’t Soar to New Heights”

  1. Brian White

    I admire you for taking one for the team. I don’t think I could have sat through this film as obediently as you did. Great review and much kudos for thinking of the site first over your own Sunday afternoon pleasure!