The Aviator

Imagine a life without limits
Imagine a life without limits
"Some men dream the future. He built it."
THE AVIATOR (12)
D: Martin Scorsese
Warner Bros./Miramax/Initial (Michael Mann, Sandy Climan, Graham King & Charles Evans, Jr.)
USA 🇺🇸 2004
163 mins

Biopic

W: John Logan
DP: Robert Richardson
Ed: Thelma Schoonmaker
Mus: Howard Shore
Pd: Dante Ferretti
Cos: Sandy Powell

Leonardo DiCaprio (Howard Hughes), Kate Beckinsale (Ava Gardner), Cate Blanchett (Katharine Hepburn), John C. Reilly (Noah Dietrich), Alec Baldwin (Juan Trippe), Alan Alda (Senator Ralph Owen Brewster), Ian Holm (Professor Fritz), Danny Huston (Jack Frye), Gwen Stefani (Jean Harlow), Jude Law (Errol Flynn)

From director Martin Scorsese comes this masterful biopic of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, born into money as heir to a drill but fortune, the film opens with Howard Hughes on the set of Hell's Angels, a film he produced and directed at great cost which was making him a laughing stock of Hollywood. The film was however very well received. 
The movie then concentrates on his romantic relationships with Hollywood A-listers whilst also designing and funding new aircraft for the military and his own pet project, the largest seaplane ever made - The Hercules (aka The Spruce Goose, a nickname Hughes himself hated).
The final act of the film focuses on Howard Hughes' fighting a bill so that his TWA empire has freedom to offer international flights, thus being huge competition for Pan Am, who at the time had exclusivity for that business.
The film is incredibly faithful to the flamboyant billionaire, even in it's representation of his obsessive compulsive disorder, and it has to be said that Leonardo DiCaprio delivers an absolutely mesmerising performance. Cate Blanchett is also fantastic as actress Katharine Hepburn, who was romantically involved with Howard Hughes before she met Spencer Tracy.
All aspects of the production are bang on the money, from the Art Deco style of the period to the sumptuous Hollywood gowns.
Even if you had no interest in the life and achievements of the eccentric aviation pioneer, it's worth watching for it's spirited entertainment value.  
9/10

Leonardo DiCaprio & Gwen Stefani in The Aviator
Leonardo DiCaprio & Gwen Stefani in The Aviator
Did You Know:
Martin Scorsese designed each year in the film to look just the way a color film from that time period would look. Achieved mainly through digitally enhanced post-production, Scorsese recreated the look of Cinecolor and two-strip Technicolor. Watch in particular for the scene where Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) meets Errol Flynn (Jude Law) in the club. Hughes is served precisely placed peas on a plate, and they appear blue or turquoise, just as they'd have looked in the two-strip Technicolor process. As Hughes ages throughout the film, the color gets more sophisticated and full-bodied.

Award Wins & Nominations:


MILSTEAD MOVIE AWARDS:

Wins: 5 (Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Ensemble Cast; Best Costume Design; Best Production Design; Best Sound Effects Editing)

Nominations: 10 (Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role; Best Director; Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Screenplay - Original; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing; Best Original Dramatic Score; Best Sound; Best Visual Effects)


OSCARS:

Wins: 5 (Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Art Direction; Best Cinematography; Best Costume Design; Best Film Editing)

Nominations: 6 (Best Picture; Best Actor in a Leading Role; Best Director; Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Original Screenplay; Best Sound)


BAFTAS

Wins: 4 (Best Film; Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Makeup; Best Production Design)

Nominations: 10 (Best Actor in a Leading Role; Best Director; Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Original Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Costume Design; Best Editing; Best Music; Best Sound; Best Visual Effects)


OTHER WINS:

Golden Globes (Best Film - Drama, Best Actor - Drama, Best Original Score); AFI Awards (Movie of the Year); ACCA (Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography); Central Ohio Film Critics (Actor of the Year, Best Formal Design); Chicago Film Critics (Best Cinematography, Best Original Score); Cinema Audio Society (Best Sound); Critics Choice Awards (Best Director, Best Composer); Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics (Best Director); Eddie (Best Editing - Drama); Gold Derby Awards (Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design); Golden Eagle (Best Foreign Film); Golden Reel Awards (Best Sound Editing); Hollywood Film Awards (Best Actor, Best Screenwriter); ICS Award (Best Production Design); International Film Music Critics (Best Original Score); INOCA (Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound); IOMA (Best Supporting Actress); Kansas City Film Critics (Best Director, Best Supporting Actress); Las Vegas Film Critics (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography); London Critics Circle (Best Director); Los Angeles Film Critics (Best Production Design); MTV Movie Awards (Best Male Performance); New York Online Critics (Best Director, Best Supporting Actress); OFTA (Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Casting, Best Production Design, Best Sound); Online Film Critics (Best Supporting Actress); PGA Awards (Best Production); Phoenix Film Critics (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design); San Diego Film Critics (Best Production Design); Satellite Awards (Best Visual Effects); Screen Actors Guild (Best Supporting Actress); Seattle Film Critics (Best Music); Silver Ribbon (Best Production Design); St Louis Film Critics (Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction); Utah Film Critics (Best Supporting Actress); Visual Effects Society (Best Supporting Visual Effects, Best Special Effects, Outstanding Models & Miniatures); Washington DC Film Critics (Best Supporting Actress)