So, why watch a movie when you know how it’s going to end? Well, in this case, when I was a kid I read a book about famous disappearances and found it pretty interesting, so I’ve always been a little curious about what happened to Amelia Earhart. Curious enough to watch this movie, anyway.
In classic biopic fashion, AMELIA begins at a pivotal moment as she’s about to take off her around-the-world flight with Fred Noonan, and then uses flashbacks to tell the story of how she became a famous aviator (or aviatrix, in the parlance of the day) and married publisher George Putnam. There are some soap operatics along the way about Amelia’s affair with flying instructor Gene Vidal (Gore’s daddy – who knew?) and some stuff about how celebrities were merchandised during the Thirties. Hilary Swank plays Earhart and really does look like her. Richard Gere is her publisher/husband, and Ewan McGregor has what amounts to an extended cameo as Gene Vidal.
This is a movie that looks great. The photography and the scenery work really well together. It’s well-acted, too. But it never seems to generate any real drama. The only suspense comes toward the end, and that’s diluted because we know how things are going to turn out. This is another case of a film that’s not terrible, but there’s no compelling reason to watch it, either, unless you’re really interested in the subject matter.