Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Flying over a desert is pretty

And that's about all you'll get out of Amelia, the bland mess of a biopic that fizzled last year. I don't know how you put Mira Nair, Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, and Ewan McGregor in a box and shake them and get this, but somehow it happened. The men in particular are wooden and unexpressive to the point of botox.

However, the film is beautiful in spots, and you may glean some interesting information in spots. For example, that Amelia Earhart's husband was publisher George Putnam (Gere). Publishers used to lead glamorous, powerful lives; maybe they still do, but they're not in the public eye the way Putnam or Bennett Cerf were. The other was that her possible lover was Gene Vidal (McGregor), Gore Vidal's father, though this seems to be heavily resting on the word of Gore, who was a child at the time and does love to puff up his own glamorous, powerful connections. I had a particular interest in this, since I used to work on Gore Vidal's papers at Harvard. However, the film doesn't make Gene interesting or even very interestingly in love with Amelia. If you're going to go the epic route, you have to get epic emotions as well as epic landscapes, and this film failed dismally at the former.

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