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The Aviator (2004)

Last night I watched The Aviator (2004).

I’d never seen this film before and it wasn’t even on my list of “Films I should’ve seen by now but haven’t”. It just happened to be on TV so I watched it.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s directed by Martin Scorsese and has an all star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbour), John C. Reilly (Step Brothers), Alec Baldwin (Mission Impossible: Fallout) and Danny Houston (30 Days of Night) among others.

It’s basically a biopic that depicts the early years of Howard Hughes’ career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Now, shamefully I knew nothing about Howard Hughes until I watched this movie, but between the film and a bit of googling I’ve learned a lot about him in a very short space of time.

He was (according to Wikipedia) an American business magnate, investor, record setting pilot, engineer, film director and philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. He also suffered from extreme OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which got worse throughout his life.

This film is almost three hours long (Scorsese’s not one for the typical 90 minute movie) but I enjoyed every minute. Sure there was the odd toilet break and the “I need to refill my glass” break but I was keen to hit the play button again as soon as I was done.

The story is compelling, the performances are excellent and as much as it’s one of those movies that has never appealed, I really enjoyed it.

If I’m honest, as soon as I see a film is around three hours long it instantly becomes unappealing to me. This is one of the reasons I still haven’t watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) or The Irishman (2019). It’s fine if they’re great films but if not, that’s three hours of my life gone that I’ll never get back. This movie was worth the 2 hours and 49 minutes (minus a few minutes for the end credits) I spent watching.

Seen it? What do you think?

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