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gob
13-01-05, 11:01 PM
I don't like Leonardo DiCaprio. Really. People rave about what a great actor he is and how he might have deserved an Oscar for some of his previous performances. Which ones I don't know!! I admit he was good in Gilbert Grape but that was 1993 for god's sake. Gangs of New York - overacted and spoiled a decent film and a great performance by Daniel Day Lewis, The Beach - awful awful awful and don't even get me started on the nightmare that is Titanic.

Then I saw Catch Me If You Can. Not a great film but our Leo was ok. Was the worm turning. Had he learned how to act?

The reason I went to see Scorsese's biopic of the early part of Howard Hughes' life was because of the subject matter. Hughes was a genius, a nutter, former owner of TWA, billionaire and general all round interesting man. I mean you gotta love a man who wanted to stay at the Las Veges Desert Inn for a few months and when he didn't gamble enough, the owners asked him to vacate the 2 floors he was in, so he wrote a cheque for $13.2 million and bought the whole casino.

This film is about his early life from about 20-40 when he decided to make movies and build planes. The early part of the film is about the making of Hell's Angels, Hughes' WWI flying epic which at the time was the most expensive film ever made at $4 million, increased by the fact that it was originally filmed as a silent movie, was due to be released just as talkies were coming out and then reshot as a talkie.

Then it moves on to his relationships with actresses Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner plus his plane building exploits (he held the air speed record at one point in a plane he designed himself) and eventual trial for war profiteering during WWII.

This film is fantastic. Leonardo was brilliant (never thought I would ever type that!!). Cate Blanchett is great as Ms Hepburn and other good parts are played by John C Reilly, Alan Alda, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law (as Errol Flynn) and Kate Beckinsdale. The direction is great and Scorsese's best since Casino in 1995.

But it's Leo who steals every scene as Hughes is portrayed initially as the indestructable pilot and film director and later as a madman.

It's a long film (170 mins) but well worth it. I would think Leo is a must for an Oscar nomination and I wouldn't begrudge him the gold statuette.

4.5/5