The Aviator  DEC 26 2004  rating: 4.0 stars

When I first saw the trailer for this movie several months ago, I thought it would suck for sure. Surprisingly, it did not. Not at all actually. DiCaprio continues to refuse to let his career be defined by Titanic, Scorsese is almost entirely transparent** as the director, and Cate Blanchett does a pretty convincing (and fun) Katherine Hepburn. When Hughes straps himself into his sleek experimental plane and breaks the speed record, the scene was shot so well that it made me want to go flying after I left the theatre.

** This is a compliment...as architect Yoshio Taniguchi said of the new MoMA: "Raise a lot of money for me, I’ll give you good architecture. Raise even more money, I’ll make the architecture disappear." Scorsese made the director and the directing disappear.

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