Q-u-a-r-a-n-t-i-n-e meets Rosebud
Enter with an open mind and you'll be richly rewarded with Scorsese's meticulous rendering of Howard Hughe's genius and its demise. But don't expect to fall into a comfortable narrative drama. THE AVIATOR is more like CITIZEN KANE, almost a newsreel that conveys the power of a brilliant man driven by his own vision against all odds.
Despite this stark and challenging frame, Scorsese and his wonderful team, including set designer Dante Feretti and a score of talented actors, still is able to convey Hughes' fragile humanity as he struggles to control the delusions and paranoia that eventually destroy his life. At the end of the movie, one mourns for Hughes as one mourned for Kane -- the loss of one man who labored a lifetime to overcome a childhood trauma and achieved great things.
Of course Scorsese's film is more than that. He coaxes a magnificently mature and nuanced performance out of Leonardo DiCaprio, and may even win him an Oscar. Cate Blanchette as Kate Hepburn at first seems excessive, until her veneer begins to peel away -- again a tribute to Scorsese's skill as a director, and Blanchette's bountiful acting abilities.
The three hours went quickly as one fabulous scene and set replaced another. The vintage clips of HELL'S ANGELS interspersed with new footage are, alone, worth the price of admission. Without giving away the ending, go see the old planes fly.
Don't miss seeing this wonderful film on the big screen. It's a masterpiece.