Y'know, I've hardly seen a movie all year that I've loved unreservedly. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind comes close, and that came out almost a year ago! I also liked Kinsey quite a bit. We saw Phantom on Christmas (Jim's uncle loves musicals), but though Emmy Rossum is a lovely singer, the movie didn't come close to working.
So we finally went to The Aviator today. That too is rather flawed, but is, for the most part, a very watchable movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was superb. So were Cate Blanchett, Jude Law and Kate Beckinsale.
There's something about Scorsese movies that never quite works for me. I think my favorite movie of his was Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and he made that 30 years ago! It's also the least like any of his other movies as it has virtually no violence and focuses on a middle-class woman. I like Taxi Driver but it's too violent in places.
So in The Aviator, Scorsese doesn't deal with violence directly - the most violent scene is one of a plane crash that was pretty gruesome. But he does deal directly with Hughes' decline into madness. I hadn't realized Hughes started to loose touch with reality quite so early in his career, and Scorsese really plays this up. It's as if Scorsese's greatest pleasure is in making his audience squirm. Frankly, it would have been a much better movie if about 20 minutes or so of the "Hughes is nuts" part of the movie had been cut.