Saturday, March 31, 2012

OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies (2006)

OSS 117 is one of the funniest movies ever made. The moment Jean Dujardin comes on screen at the beginning you are just laughing. The entire movie is just fun to sit through, it is light and silly and outrageously entertaining.
            Dujardin is Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath a French intelligence officer known as OSS 117. He has just learned that his former partner Jack Jefferson has been killed on assignment in Cairo. Before Jack was killed he was looking into the disappearance of a ship carrying arms. Now Hubert has to find the ship while at the same time try to bring peace to the Middle East.
            His contact in Cairo is a beautiful woman named Larmina (Berenice Bejo). He falls for her pretty quickly but just like in any spy story she starts off cold, seems to be the bad guy, then turns out to be good and the spy loves her even more.
            This is where I stop telling you about the plot because it is way too funny to spoil. The whole movie is a spoof of the James Bond movies or any spy movie of the 1950s. Every aspect of those films is completely exaggerated here like the phony fighting, the gorgeous lady who has several different motives, the bad guys, how the good guy can escape from every situation, and how fast the good guy learns about his surroundings.
            I cracked up with how ignorant Hubert was made to be! Oh my god he was so bad! Larmina told him she could not have a drink because she is Muslim and it is against her religion to have alcohol, he tells her he will tire of the religion one day. The Muslims have their call to prayer early in the morning and they are said by someone from a minaret. Hubert had no idea what the guy was doing, he got out of bed, went to the minaret and beat the guy up to stop! These are just some of the ignorant things Hubert does that I was laughing so hard with. Hubert’s ignorance is one of the hundreds of things that make this movie hysterical.
            Jean Dujardin is a panic. He was perfect as this stereotypical 1950s French spy. Pretty much any time he did something or said something you are left laughing. Berenice Bejo as Larmina was so damn adorable. In one scene she gets stuck in a Nazis hideout in the pyramids and they think they will never be able to get out and they will rot so she starts freaking out getting all over dramatic. In the middle of her freak out Hubert finds the switch. Dujardin and Bejo have such amazing chemistry together. They could make movies together forever and I would see every single one of them without ever getting tired of seeing them together.
            OSS 117 is one of the funniest comedies movies I have ever seen and one of the best French movies I have seen. This was a spoof movie in the style of Mel Brooks where the comedy was subtle and not over the top and just exaggerated everything. Michel Hazanavicious made an incredible comedy. OSS117 is a comedy I can easily watch over and over again and show everyone I know. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Solitary Man (2009)

I do not know what I was expecting with Solitary Man. I have to confess the only reason I even sat through this movie was because I saw Jenna Fischer on the cover. Other than Fischer I never would have sat through a film with Michael Douglas and the rest of the actors in it. I was just hoping that the movie was worth taking the time to sit through.
            Michael Douglas plays Ben Kalman a former car salesman. He was outrageously successful with lots of money and married. Over six years Ben and his wife Nancy (Susan Sarandon) divorce and he got into some big trouble with his business and spent much of his money to stay out of jail. Now he is a man that his daughter Susan (Fischer) is ashamed of, he sleeps around with any young looking girl.
            Ben is seeing this woman Jordan (Mary- Louise Parker) because her father has connections with car dealerships. He is all set to open a new car dealership until he sleeps with Jordan’s daughter Allyson. After that Ben’s life really gets out of control especially Susan refuses to do any more than she has already done for him.
            That is pretty much the whole movie in a nutshell. The reason Ben became a creeper was because he went to the doctor one day and the doctor did some kind of a test on his heart. After this Ben felt really old and that night found some hot girl at a bar to sleep with him and that set him off on cheating and trying to hook up with younger women and cheat at his business. He essentially took a lot of risks because of his heart and his age.
            I was bored with Solitary Man. Michael Douglas, Mary- Louise Parker, and Susan Sarandon are actors I do not particularly care for (True story: my grandma lives across the street from Susan Sarandon’s step-brother Tim. Just thought I would share). Jenna Fischer was excellent and I am not saying that because I like her as an actress. Her character seemed to have the most depth and she is the only one you really feel bad for. The story was just bored me it was a man going through a crisis in his old age and he lost everything because he was stupid. If we were meant to feel bad for Ben I did not he was a jerk. Solitary Man is not awful it is just was not my cup of tea. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fashions of 1934

I had no idea what to expect when I recorded Fashions of 1934. All I expected was to see William Powell play a charming cheat and Bette Davis to be a feisty modern 1930s girl. Both actors were what I was expecting. I was not expecting too much from the story line and that is what I got out of it.
            Sherwood Nash (Powell) is a cheat. His investment scam has been shut down and he is left with nothing. A very pretty young lady named Lynn Mason (Davis) comes to Sherwood on the day his office is literally wiped clean to see if he would invest in her fashion designs. He gets a very good idea and the next business he starts works out great. He has an inside man work for a department store where he can see the latest fashions before they hit the stores. Lynn copies the dresses and Sherwood has the copies made and put into store before the designers can get them in the department stores. Sherwood sells his copies cheaper where the department stores sell the designers for a higher price.
            Sherwood’s spy is found out and fired. Sherwood comes up with the idea to tell the designers that he is the one copying their designs. He does so but proposes that since he is so good they send him to Paris to steal designs from the city’s designers and that way they have the latest Parisian styles in advance. He proposes the idea to several of the designers she cheated and they all give him some cash to do so. Sherwood takes along Lynn and his friend Snap (Frank McHugh) to take pictures of the dresses.
            The top designer in Paris is a man named Baroque. All three cheats go into the designer’s maison seeing what would be the best clothes to send over. Snap uses a camera in a cane but he is found out. As they walk along the Seine they see the designer buying books on old costumes. The book seller tells them that Baroque takes his designs from old costumes throughout history. Sherwood has Lynn copy some of the styles out of the books, stamp their signatures on the drawings, and send them stateside.
            One day Sherwood meets Baroque face to face and the designer brings along his fiancée Grand Duchess Alix. The woman is not fooling Sherwood he knows her as Mabel a woman from Hoboken, New Jersey. He tricks her into telling Baroque to put on a fashion show or he will tell him that she is simply Mabel from Hoboken. Baroque goes ahead with the show and backstage he tries to coax a man who works for Sherwood to work for him and help create his designs. Sherwood hears this and bribes Baroque out of his business.
            The rest of the business deal and the film gets a little confusing after this.
            I was not too crazy about Fashions of 1934. William Powell was good with what he was given for his character but there was a slimy charm to him not his typical nice charm. Bette Davis was good but her character was not that great. I guess it is safe to say the two main characters were not well written, acted yes, just not written. Snap was the only good character because Frank McHugh made him hilarious. The character was girl crazy and in one scene he was hysterical laughing at sexy pictures. I can only say watch Fashions of 1934 if you are a fan of William Powell or Bette Davis because there are really no other reasons, it was slow and boring. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Week With Marilyn (2011)

“It's agony because he's a great actor who wants to be a film star, and you're a film star who wants to be a great actress.”

            Ever since I saw Some Like It Hot as a kid I have never understood Marilyn Monroe’s appeal. Sure, now I like her in Some Like it Hot as well as Don’t Bother to Knock, and The Misfits but I still cannot for the life of me figure out why she is so loved, so popular, and such an icon. I guess I am of the minority of film lovers who does not understand her appeal nor even care to. The world is obsessed with her even fifty years after her death. Today you can turn on NBC at ten o’clock to watch the show Smash which is about the making of a musical based off Marilyn Monroe’s life (I do watch Smash I am obsessed with, not with the Marilyn aspect but for the fact that has a good story and some awesome music. Also I have a girl crush on Katharine McPhee!). To me if anyone says they like Marilyn Monroe I have to roll my because Marilyn is like the popular girl at school she is the one classic actress that everyone knows and they all over look the least popular (in today’s terms not in their times) actresses who had the most talent. I would love to do an experiment where I hold up a picture of an actress like Mary Pickford or Carole Lombard, an actress not a lot of people would recognize today, then hold up a picture of Marilyn. I could only hope that at least one person I asked would who Pickford or Lombard are.
            When I heard that a movie called My Week with Marilyn was coming out I wanted to throw something at the TV. Another damn movie or story about Marilyn Monroe the most over rated woman on the planet next to Audrey Hepburn? At this point after I have stated how much I cannot stand the actress you are asking yourself why on earth did this psychotic person watch this movie if they cannot stand Marilyn? Well, to answer your pondering, I was curious and my friend said it was not that bad (last time I ever listen to her!!)
            The film tells the story from the point of view of a young British man named Colin Clark. He weasels his way into getting a job with Laurence Olivier’s production company in London. The first film Colin is be an assistant on is Olivier’s (Kenneth Branagh) film The Prince and the Show Girl which is set to star Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) as the show girl who wins a grumpy old man’s heart. From the moment Colin sets eyes on the actress he is immediately attracted to her not only her beauty but her sadness, her cry for help, and her desperation to be liked.
            Colin becomes Marilyn’s assistant in some ways and becomes her trusted friend during filming. When she needs someone to comfort her she calls for Colin. Marilyn’s publicist tells the young man to back off but Marilyn finds a way to get to him. The publicist warns Colin that Marilyn will think he is the only one in the world for her and then when she is done will move on to somewhere and someone new and break his heart.
            Olivier is the director as well as the star of the film. The man was not really known for his kindness or patience and would get really frustrated with Marilyn always being late or not knowing her lines. Marilyn felt that Olivier did not really like her and belittled her acting.
            By the end of filming Olivier says that Marilyn has such a screen presence and could really be a big star. After The Prince and the Show Girl Olivier would star in a comedy on stage that is considered one of his performances and Monroe would make Some Like It Hot one of the best comedies films ever.
            The only thing I liked about the movie was Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier because there were times where he looked and sounded so much like Olivier it was scary. He absolutely deserved to be nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar he was perfect. I felt terrible hearing that Vivien Leigh had played Marilyn’s role in the stage play but Olivier felt that at forty-three she was too old. Give me a damn break, Vivien Leigh even at forty-three was the most beautiful woman on earth. The only role I have ever enjoyed Michelle Williams in was Dick where she was a silly teenager along with Kirsten Dunst (one of the most hilarious movie ever!). I cannot believe that Williams was nominated for Best Actress her performance was crap. Emma Watson has a small role as a costume department assistant whom Colin likes but ignores as he becomes closer to Marilyn. Dominic Cooper is Marilyn’s American publicist Milton Green (playing an American when he is actually British… interesting). He was so hot! Watson and Cooper are like the only two actors in the film who can act and they were given small roles. Julia Ormond plays a very unconvincing Vivien Leigh in three or four scenes.
            In a review I read about the movie a critic called it My Weak with Marilyn. I have to agree with him, there is nothing interesting with this story nor is the filmmaking anything to brag about. There was nothing interesting about the film besides Kenneth Branagh’s performance. And I still do not understand what makes Marilyn Monroe appealing to so many people, if anything I cannot stand her even more. Unless you are on the Marilyn Monroe bandwagon I would skip My Week With Marilyn

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Jazz Singer (1927)

“In every living soul a spirit cries for expression—perhaps this plaintive wailing song of Jazz is, after all, the misunderstood utterance of a prayer.”
                        Wait a minute… today is not Sunday. What am I doing writing about a silent film in the middle of the week? Well I thought it would be odd to write about The Jazz Singer for Silent Sunday because this is the film that was the death nil for the silent era. Yes, the film is technically a silent for the most part with only the musical numbers in sound. Several silent actors and actresses such as Gloria Swanson thought sound was a fad it would never last. For the first “talking” film the sound is not bad and the story is wonderful.
            Jakie Rabinowitz (Al Jolson) grew up in a traditional Jewish home with his mother and his father who is a cantor. His father has him groomed to be a cantor from a young age since he comes from five generations of cantors. Jakie was performing at a family bar where the town gossip sees him and tells Jakie’s father. The father is mad and gives Jakie a whipping for debasing the voice that God gave him. The mother takes Jakie’s side she knows that he does want to be cantor he does not want to follow tradition. After the father hits him a young Jakie runs away from home.
            Years later Jakie Rabinowitz is now Jack Robin performing in a London club. Everyone loves his voice. He catches the eyes and ears of a performer named Mary Dale. She gets him in her traveling show and they get the chance to go to America. They travel all over with the last stop in New York City where Jack grew up. Before he gets on the train to New York with the touring company he gets a letter saying that he is such a success that he is getting his own show on Broadway if his performance with Mary goes well.
            As soon as he gets off the train in New York Jack runs home to his mother who he has missed so much over the years. He has written to her countless times but he father has forbidden her to read them saying they have no son. Jakie and his mother share a nice big hug. He sits down at the piano and sings to her and as he plays he tells her all the things he is going to buy for her and the places he is going to take her when he is a star on Broadway. The father comes home and he is furious. Jakie once again leaves the house and now never plans on returning again.
            At dress rehearsals the next day the town gossip comes to tell him his father is sick and may be dying and that there is no one to sing at temple that night for Atonement. Jack understands the trouble but he tells them his father does not want him he has thrown him out for the second time. He becomes torn between family tradition and religion.
            On opening night Jack gives in to his strong religious calling and sings in the temple. As he is sings his father says that he has his son back and dies. When Jack does finally have his Broadway debut he is a sensation.
            I really liked the story of The Jazz Singer. I like learning about Christianity and Judaism so it was interesting to see part of a Jewish religious ceremony. I enjoyed seeing how this man wanted to get away so bad and follow his passion for performing and tried to ignore his past when his father did not want him but his religion and its tradition became too strong in the end and he sang in temple. That is a story that has never been seen in films since. It was not racist or unsympathetic towards the Jews or religion it was nice. I especially liked the one line that Mary Dale says to Jack when he is debating on whether he should perform or go to temple: “Your career is where God put you.” The story was very modern in the sense that in the 1920s people were breaking away from the strict moral codes of the teens and breaking away from tradition. The mother in the film, although still traditional in some ways, was very modern siding with her son and his wish to break away from tradition. The film comes from a play of the same title written by Sam Raphaelson. Raphaelson was a Jew who grew up in New York like Jack. You cannot help but think this was possibly a bit personal for him. If you have ever seen any film that is based on one of his plays you know he writes very human and very true stories that are touching.
            My favorite scene of the film is when Jack and his mother see each other after many years. It was so touching when he sitting at the piano telling her about all the things he wants to buy her and all the places he wants to take her. Jolson played it so sincere and the actress who played the mother looked as if she were truly blushing over her real son. It is one of my favorite scenes from a film it was so beautifully done.
            The cast was very good. The only one I had a problem with was the mother outside of the scene I just mentioned. She was very over dramatic with her expressions and movements. Al Jolson was phenomenal he was perfect. Keep a look out for a twenty-year old Myrna Loy as a chorus girl.
            The Jazz Singer is one of the greatest and most important films ever made. Watch the film not just for the fact that it was the first to have synchronized sound but also for the touching beautiful story. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Van Helsing (2004)

“He's the first one to kill a vampire in over a hundred years. I'd say that's earned him a drink”

            Van Helsing takes the Universal monsters of Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wereworlf and throws them all together at the turn of the twentieth century. A man named Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) works for the Vatican to rid the world of these great literary monsters. His new assignment takes him and a friar Carl takes him to Romania where a small town has been plagued by the evil vampire Count Vladislaus Dracula for centuries. No one has been able to rid this evil vampire.
            When Helsing arrives in the village he is met with hostility by the inhabitants until Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) comes and tells them to back off. Anna comes from an old family that has sworn to kill Dracula and her family will not rest in peace for all eternity when they die until they kill him. In no time the village is attacked by two winged female vampires. Helsing kills one but the other two get away. Anna brings him to her home that night to tell him what her plans are. She wants to do find and kill Dracula herself but nothing has worked. That night her brother who has been missing returns but he is not the same, he has been turned into a werewolf.
            Dracula is always seems to be a step of Van Helsing and Anna. He has several evil plans for the werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster.
            As the movie progresses all the legends of the famous monsters comes together in an interesting way. Dracula uses their abilities towards his plan to take over the world.
            Van Helsing is an alright movie. My friend brought it over he is in love with Kate Beckinsale and he loves monster stories like this. I had seen the movie years ago because my brothers like monster stories too. The cast was good they played their roles very well. Kate Beckinsale and Hugh Jackman look great in their costumes. The only real issue with this movie is that they do not go into the characters too much. There is a lot more to the characters but we are only given little tidbits and some of them seem like they would be important to story but they are not explored. The CGI is rather awful at times but that can be looked over. Van Helsing is a film if you like the old monster movies and their lore you will enjoy it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Silent Sundays: Beyond the Rocks (1922)

There are hundreds of silent films that are sadly considered “lost”- lost as in missing or completely destroyed. This is a shame but unfortunately due to age many silent films have deteriorated due to the nitrate the film was made of and begin improperly stored. But every few years a film miracle happens and a once considered lost film is found in storage in a foreign country. For decades Beyond the Rocks starring two of silent cinema’s biggest idols Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson was one of those lost films. In 2003 a print of the film was found in the Netherlands in a private collection and was restored by the Nederlands Filmmuseum. This was a huge find especially because it was the only film Valentino and Swanson ever made together. Unfortunately the plot is not good at all.
            The story is about a young woman named Theodora Fitzgerald (Swanson). Her father and two spinster step-sisters come from a line of aristocrats but they do not have the wealth the family used to have. The sisters do not do anything for themselves; they plan on Theodora to marry rich so she can take care of them and their father.
            Theodora was out on the water in a small boat when it capsizes. A young man on a yacht sees her go over and he jumps in the water to save her. Her father sees her and is very grateful. The young man is Lord Hector Bracondale (Valentino) a rich playboy from England. There is a spark between Hector and Theodora when they talk on shore. As a sign of thanks and a bit of flirting Theodora gives Hector a narcissus flower from her dress. The sisters say amongst themselves that Hector is no good for their sister because he has so much money he just does whatever he wants.
            The sisters have Theodora marry a rich old millionaire named Josiah Brown. She is not happy and her father is the only who cares he tells her that she does not have to go through with the marriage. But Theodora loves her father so much that she cannot let him down. The honeymoon does not go over so well, Josiah gets altitude sickness in Alps and cannot do much with Theodora. At dinner one night Theodora drops her handkerchief near a table. It drops right behind the table that Hector just so happens to be sitting at. The waiter picks it up thinking it belongs to Hector’s mother or sister. When he takes it he can smell narcissus perfume on it and when he turns around he sees Theodora.
            The next day while hiking in the mountains Theodora falls over the edge and is literally hanging by a rope. Hector happens to save her again and their romance is rekindled. As time goes on their romance is tortured between love and duty. Theodora feels awful about being unfaithful to Josiah but Hector wants to constantly be in her presence. The one step-sister finds out what Theodora is doing with Hector and Josiah. She send Theodora’s letter to Josiah to Hector and vice versa. Josiah sees that she really does not love him which breaks his heart but he understands because she is young. He decides to go on an expedition to Egypt that could be fatal.

            If you have to even guess what happens then you must never have seen or read a love story.
            The story was very, very dull. It is like a story out of one of my grandma’s cheesy romance novels, it is a soap opera to the full extent. I like a good love story but it was too dragged out the film could have been finished in a shorter time even though it is only an hour and twenty-eight minutes long. The film starts out well I like it a lot but once Theodora marries Josiah my attention span was spent.
            Theodora Fitzgerald was not one of Gloria Swanson’s finest characters. Swanson’s performance seemed so wooden, so stiff. That is all I can really say about the character and Swanson’s performance. But at the same time I was happy to see another of her silents besides Sadie Thompson (I know she has made better than Beyond the Rocks and I am currently looking for some). Swanson was stunningly beautiful. If I was Hector I would not be able to forget her face either!(and to think she was only twenty-three years old!!) Valentino I have never seen in a film before. I actually liked his performance. I felt so bad for Hector because he was so truly and madly in love with her and could not be with her. I can see why women swooned over Valentino he was very handsome in a certain way. Unfortunately there is absolutely no chemistry between Valentino and Gloria Swanson which greatly affects the storyline making it unbelievable that their characters are so in love with each other it is torturous.
            The only character that I liked was Hector’s sister Anna. The actress June Elvidge was the cast member to turn in a good performance even though she has only one decent sized scene. Hector tells her that he is love and the title card tells us that Anna knows he is telling the truth because the way he is telling her about Theodora is different from all the other times. You can see it on her face that she believes her brother and encourages him.
               There are two very good scenes despite its dullness: while at Versailles Hector tells Theodora about the gallants who used to come to the palace and seduce the women. As he tells the story they imagine they are back in the times of Louis XIV. While in the desert in Egypt Josiah's men find a scroll stating the punishment for women who were unfaithful to their husbands and he imagines Theodora in Egyptian dress being punished. The scenes were beautiful especially the Egyptian one. 
            Beyond the Rocks is a miracle film simply because it was once considered lost and was found. But other than its rediscovery there is no other miracle attached to it. The story is boring and the characters are not good. I can only recommend a viewing Beyond the Rocks because of its history and maybe to see Valentino and Gloria Swanson in their only film together

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Aviator (2004)

“The way of the future.” 

            Many young people today may not know who Howard Hughes is. They may not know that he was an aviation pioneer, a brilliant man ahead of his times who was not afraid to take risks. Howard Hughes was a name I had heard of or read about here and there but never really knew just what he was about. I cannot even tell you since my memory fails me at the moment if I had read about him because I watched The Aviator by Martin Scorsese or if it was because I had read about Ginger Rogers and how she was engaged to him for a short time. I cannot even tell you how or why I can to saw The Aviator or how I came to own it. One thing I can say for certain at the moment is that the movie is one of my favorites.
            When the movie begins a young Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) is directing his film Hell’s Angels out on an air strip in the desert. A sky battle is about to be filmed with dozens and dozens of planes. When the scene is shot and previewed Hughes is upset that you cannot see how fast the planes are going since there is nothing against them to show their speed. He decides to reshoot the whole scene and wait for the perfect weather with large clouds behind them. The film in the end costs $3.8 million to make and does not do as well as expected. The film’s bust does not deter the young and dashing Hughes. He moves on to making the fastest and best looking planes.
            His millions allow him to become a playboy able to get any girl he sets his sights on. At the premier of Hell’s Angels he has Jean Harlow (Gwen Stefani) on his arm. In the middle of creating planes and making business deals he meets a young fresh faced Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) who at that time is not the famed and success Katharine Hepburn of MGM she if the box-office poison Hepburn of RKO. They see each other for a few years but when Howard starts to ignore her she leaves him and hooks up with Spencer Tracy. His next actress he hooks up with is the gorgeous and feisty Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale). Neither of his relationships are romantic. Ava later on gets really pissed off at him for tapping her phones and having her followed.
            During World War II the United States Army pays him to make planes for them for millions of dollars. He only completed one plane but that one plane he tested himself and horrifically crashed and nearly died from. After the crash his neurosis begins to control his life and for a while he becomes a recluse. During his seclusion Pan Am and the congressman bring accusations against Hughes for his military contracts and his work with TWA. The congressman is in the pocket of the owner of Pan Am so he gladly attacks Hughes but the aviator wins against the corrupt politician.       
            There are a lot of episodes from Howard Hughes’s life that are shown in the movie to make my summary sound coherent. The whole story and telling of it is brilliant.
            Leonardo DiCaprio was great. I was never a fan of his when I was younger during the Romeo and Juliet and Titanic phase but now that he is older I enjoy him and his movies so much. He truly is so unbelievably talented. DiCaprio’s performance was great especially when the story came to the beginning of Hughes going crazy. He makes you feel for Hughes instead of making the man look just crazy and out of his mind, you feel terrible that someone with such a brilliant mind was so mentally ill. Cate Blanchett was outrageously incredible as Katharine Hepburn the woman truly deserved her Oscar for this role. Not only did Blanchett have the actress’s mannerisms down but her speech the way the Hepburn spoke. That was amazing I give Blanchett all the props and praise for pulling off Katharine Hepburn’s speech. I died with how perfect the hairstylists got Hepburn’s flip in the front and her part. I love Hepburn’s longer hair it was always crazy yet put together… kind of like the actress herself. Their relationship is made a little more romantic than it really was; Hepburn was very asexual her relationship with Hughes was like a companionship than anything else. Kate Beckinsale was almost scary as Ava Gardner. There are certain shots that if you look quickly she looks exactly like Ava Gardner. I read a great biography on the actress and there was a great story on how she got mad at Hughes for tapping her phones and having her watched and threw something at him giving him a deep cut on the head. The writers stuck this story in the movie! Gardner was a tough cookie she as definitely someone to listen to and not piss off. Again the hairstylists did an amazing job with Beckinsale’s hair I love Ava Gardner’s hair as well I always wish I could curl my hair that way and give my bangs a nice flip and wave like hers.
            Other actors make several appearances as characters in Howard Hughes’s life. Jude Law plays Errol Flynn, Alan Alda plays the paid off Sen. Owen Brewster, Alec Baldwin is Juan Trippe the head of Pan Am, John C. Reilly is Hughes’s long suffering accountant and Willem Dafoe in a very short scene as a photographer.
            Martin Scorsese did a fantastic job. The more films I see of his the more I adore him for his love of filmmaking that comes through every frame. Howard Hughes has an interesting story and Scorsese perfectly weaves us through the man’s personal demons but also his technological genius.
            The Aviator is a very well made biopic. I especially liked how the story did not go back and forth through time to tell Hughes’s story like J. Edgar or The Iron Lady that device drives me nuts. As in Coco Before Chanel it does not go into too much detail and it may not be entirely accurate but it gives the viewer enough story and information to become interested in researching Howard Hughes and the people in his life. Let me tell you being a fan of both Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn and having read excellent biographies on them you want to know more about them. If you do want to know more about these fascinating women read Ava Gardner: “Love is Nothing” by Lee Server and Kate: The Woman Who was Hepburn by William J. Mann. Both authors go into the time when the actresses were with Hughes. I think it helps to know about Hughes and his time in Hollywood and some of the films he made like The Outlaw with Jane Russell which is mentioned and shown. The Aviator is an all around great movie that I highly suggest seeing.