Saturday, November 21, 2009
My top ten movies of the decade-#9
This spot goes to my favorite living directors masterpiece of the decade, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator, from 2004. From what I've read, the movie is 2 hours and 50 minutes long, but it has flown by for me the many times I have watched it. Newest Scorsese favorite Leonardo DiCaprio proves yet again what a versatile actor he can be in the right circumstances. His take on legendary billionaire Howard Hughes is fascinating in the small details he adds into his performance. His striking blue eyes bouncing between paranoid fear and defiant rebeliousness, which serves the movie well since Hughes often feels he has to prove himself to the unbelieving people he comes into contact with, people like Alan Alda's smarmy Sen. Brewster, Alec Baldwin's Pan Am exec Juan Trippe, or even the other people in Hollywood who say that he's mad to try making his movies in the unconventional way in which he chooses to make them in. The ending may not work as well if we weren't familiar with what Hughes ended up being, a reclusive germophobe who spent his final years in a hotel room overlooking Las Vegas. It's wonderfully tragic (from a dramatic standpoint) to see Hughes rise above his illness and accomplish his greatest achievement, only to allow his demons to take a final hold of him, while he's looking hopefully to the future. An ending worthy of Shakespeare, and a testament to what an amazing decade it has been for moviegoers that this masterpiece is only my #9.