The Aviator

I was pleasantly surprised by _The Aviator_. Sure, it was up for Best Picture, but all you’d usually hear about it is how it wasn’t Scorcese’s best, though maybe he should get Best Director anyway since he’s overdue. And sure, it’s not his best, but it’s head and shoulders above _Gangs of New York_. Certainly good enough to make me want to see it again. Movies, the cult of celebrity, aviation, technology, politics, business, mental illness: the film puts all these balls in the air and doesn’t drop a one. I was wondering what all the fuss about DiCaprio’s performance was about until the OCD started to kick in — and then I was so taken in that I forget to think about the acting while I was watching. The big crash scene was absolutely riveting, and I’m pretty sure the plane slicing through all those suburban California homes was a deft metaphor working on a number of levels that I’ll leave to the film students of the world to piece out. And since I knew precious little about Hughes’ life, I found most of the plot surprising/interesting/enlightening.

My one historical accuracy question: was the dialogue during the Senate testimony scenes taken directly from the transcript, or adapted?