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'The Aviator' flies high

The Aviator

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One of this year's Oscar nominees for Best Actress is Cate Blanchett for her stunning portrayal of an increasingly unstable socialite in "Blue Jasmine." Blanchett previously won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 2004 movie "The Aviator," where she played a much more confident woman. "The Aviator" is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio. Their latest movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street," earned both of them Oscar nominations this year as well.

"The Aviator" is a biopic of Howard Hughes (played by DiCaprio). It tells the story of the first half of his life, from the mid-1920s through the mid-1940s. At the beginning of the film, Hughes is an ambitious filmmaker working on a movie called "Hell's Angels." A few years later, the movie is released, and it is a big success. Hughes emerges as a passionate individual, and as the title suggests, aviation is a passion of his. Hughes wanted to be more than a filmmaker, he wanted to be a player in the aviation industry. Hence, he bought the company that eventually became known as Trans World Airlines (TWA). He was also passionately unsettled by dirt and germs, suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a condition that was not well-known in his time. Finally, the movie show his relationships with two women who tugged his emotional and physical passions: Katherine Hepburn (played by Blanchett) and Ava Gardner (played by Kate Beckinsale). Both of these women were movie stars.

The cast of this movie is amazing. Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job showing how Hughes' OCD became worse as he got older. Cate Blanchett gives an equally effective performance. She does a perfect job with Hepburn's New England accent and casually sophisticated demeanor. Another memorable performance is by Alec Baldwin, playing Juan Trippe, who runs Pan Am, a rival airplane production company.

The look of the film is excellent, especially the party scenes. These scenes effectively capture Hollywood of that era.

"The Aviator" is well-worth seeing, particularly for fans of biopics.