Sunday, November 1, 2009


I was right in a previous post when I poo-pooed Amelia's chances at the box office. After a full week of release, this $40,000,000 film has grossed about $7,000,000. Compare that to Saw VI, released the same day, which has taken in over 20 mil. My theory - not to be taken too seriously - that the more outlandish the promo interviews, the worse the movie's performance, seems to be holding up.

As to the actual quality of Amelia, I'd say the numbers are a bit generous. Although it has the right parts - decent cast, good photography, a legendary heroine - but it falls flat. There was no chemistry between stars Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. Gere is 15-years older, relatively, than Amelia Earhart's husband. It showed and was distracting. So was a tangent featuring Gore Vidal. The movie just didn't gel. In a way, the more interesting parts of Earhart's life were ignored and a PG soap opera version of her love life was substituted.

The ending contained little suspense but since we all know what happened, or rather, we all know that no one knows what happened, it should have been infinitely suspenseful. Instead, the movie dropped hints and possibilities like they were litter, making you think they knew something you didn't. In the end, none of the hints were followed up on, leaving me, for one, scratching my head.

Finally, Hilary Swank's performance was just awkward. She may have looked like Earhart but she acted like a child in a toy store, always wide eyed and excited. And the accent. Swank used an accent similar to the one Cate Blanchett used for Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. As Earhart was from Kansas, I have trouble believing she spoke that way. But if she did, there's no way she would have been a celebrity in a mass communication world. Unfortunately, Amelia Earhart never had a chance. Unfortunately, as well, this is the movie they chose to make about her life.


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