AMELIA (2009)

Running Time: 111 mins.                        Rating: 2 Stars/5 Stars

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Mira Nair

Genre: Adventure/Biography/Drama/Romance

Country: USA

Language: English

Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Cast: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Cherry Jones, Mia Wasikowska

AMELIA crashes and burns long before Earhart does.  Hilary Swank tries to do Meryl Streep, and fails.  Richard Gere, as usual, falls back on his aging boyish charm to get Swank to swoon.

A biopic of the famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her round-the-world flight that tries very hard to take flight but gets distracted from wannabe epicness which results in a crash landing that has the audience on the edge of their seats waiting for the denouement, which they already know, so they can run for the exits.

Considered to be the female counterpart of Charles Lindbergh (without the National Socialist leanings), the life story of Amelia Earhart, the proto-feminist Depression Era icon for young women who wanted to toss their apron strings in the 1920s and ‘30s, is told in textbook manner.  Based on the books “East To The Dawn” by Susan Butler and “Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved” by Elgin Long the film begins with her childhood in Atchison, Kansas and ends with her disappearance over the Pacific near Howland Island during her attempt to circumvent the globe in 1937.

Structured as a series of flashbacks, the film is hagiographic as it puts Earhart on a pedestal ala the Golden Age of Hollywood biopics.  Nothing exciting happens in the film that doesn’t appear on the studio checklist for heroic profiles.  Kudos as usual to Stuart Dryburgh for his excellent cinematography.

If you like this recommendations: Amelia Earhart (1976), Pancho Barnes, Out Of Africa