1 hour, 51 minutes
PG Parental Guidance Suggested.
for some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking.
Hilary Swank ... Amelia Earhart
Richard Gere ... George Putnam
Ewan McGregor ... Gene Vidal
Christopher Eccleston ... Fred Noonan
Joe Anderson ... Bill
Cherry Jones ... Eleanor Roosevelt
The look at the extraordinary life of adventure, celebrity and continuing mystery of the legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank "Boys Don't Cry") is framed by her ill-fated attempt to fly around the
world, focusing on the decade between her first taste of fame in 1928
andto her disappearance over the South Pacific in 1937. Director Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding") frames the drama as the tale of a woman who
chafed against gender barriers in pursuit of big dreams, and inspired
others to do the same.
Richard Gere ("Chicago") plays publishing magnate George
Putnam, the New York publisher who made Charles Lindbergh a bestselling author and hopes to work similar wonders with Amelia. He promotes her flights and becomes her very
understanding husband. But their marriage is strained by Amelia's restlessness, her unhappiness
with the distractions of fundraising, and most of all by her growing
fondness for pilot and aeronautics professor Gene Vidal (Ewan
McGregor "Star Wars" Episodes 1, 2, 3), the father of a very young Gore Vidal (William Cuddy "Breakfast With Scot") who charmingly asks her why her bedroom walls are covered in
wild jungle animals.
The business of flying in those days was fraught with peril and very much her own woman, Earhart who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932
, not only paved the way for female
aviators but helped drive the development of aviation in general. In
the process, she became one of the first celebrities to create a
major marketing impression with her name appearing on any number of
household products. The film does an excellent job of creating suspense during
Earhart's final flight along with her skillful navigator Fred Noonan (Christopher Eccleston "28 Days Later"
) in their twin-engine Lockheed L-10 Electra. The plane was never found, and she was declared legally dead in 1939.
Intermittent black-and-white newsreel footage of Earhart adds some interest but it also feels like a nervous bid for authenticity. Despite gorgeous scenery, beautiful period costumes, a romantic love story, and a fine leading performance by it's star Hilary Swank, this old-fashioned film biography never quite gets off the ground.