Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I've never learned much about Amelia Earhart, either in school or my occasional random browsing of history. So the upside to sitting down to Mira Nair's Amelia was that I would be taught a lesson about one of our country's most cherished heroes. But the minimal information one might pick up from this stodgy biopic is the only gain in what is otherwise a terribly flawed, excruciatingly boring motion picture. Earhart was all about freedom, freedom to do what you want, say what you want, and most importantly, go where you want. She was, according to the movie, bright, chirpy and at times quite rash. She had her dreams and wanted to fulfill them, no matter the opposition. In the film, Earhart's played by Hillary Swank, who's imitation of her rung false in nearly every scene. The accent Swank puts on may in fact bear resemblance to Earhart's own style of speech, but that doesn't mean it's not as annoying as hell. Sorry, Amelia, I'm just critical sometimes. Amelia is a good-looking movie, but what ultimately brings it down is the plodding pace and the script that doesn't really bother to explore Earhart's life below the surface. Her relationships with the men in her life (played by Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor) were uninspired, and her entire philosophy, her love of liberation, came across as incomplete. The problem lies with the incompetent script and Nair's pedestrian direction. She's a fine filmmaker, but it seems like she's best when working with multi-racial stories about family values. With the squeaky clean Amelia,she fails to prove she has significant range as a director. This is a movie that frankly I'm surprised I made it through.