Feature

Amelia

A biopic about an extraordinary woman, the resolutely ordinary <em>Amelia</em> &ldquo;never takes flight,&rdquo; said Leah Rozen in <em>People.</em>

Directed by Mira Nair
(PG)

*

The life story of celebrated pilot Amelia Earhart

A biopic about an extraordinary woman, the resolutely ordinary Amelia “never takes flight,” said Leah Rozen in People. With her toothy smile and slim, womanly physique, Hilary Swank was a perfect choice to play Amelia Earhart, the renowned aviatrix who soared to fame until an attempted circumnavigation of the globe ended in her mysterious disappearance in 1937. The film hits the historical high points, but fails to explain precisely how a girl from Kansas became a feminist heroine. We learn little about the woman within that leather jumpsuit, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Director Mira Nair offers some insight into her marriage (as well as her passionate affair with Gore Vidal’s father, played by Ewan McGregor). She also creates sweeping vistas of the sky, providing “a sense of the freedom that fueled Earhart’s passion for flying.” But the occasional “glimpses of Amelia’s humanity” are always viewed from an unusual distance. Even by the film’s end, the real Amelia “remains tantalizing out of our grasp,” said Mary Pols in Time. You’re left feeling like you have just watched “a very long trailer for a film you’d actually love to see.” Earhart deserves a film as remarkable as she was. This isn’t it.

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