Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Review of "The Aviator," Widescreen edition

Review of

The Aviator, Widescreen edition

Five out of five stars

 As a technocrat, I have followed the professional lives of the people that have made the modern computer industry. Individuals such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison and Elon Musk. They are hard-driving people that had great vision, but personalities and egos that were abrasive, to say the least. Much earlier, there was another person in this mold, and his name was Howard Hughes. This movie is an expression of his life, successes and failures.

 DiCaprio puts forward a superb performance as the mercurial, yet brilliant Hughes. In watching the movie, it was easy to project some of what has been written about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and simply replace Hughes with either of those two men.

 Of course, there are two significant differences. The first is that Hughes was at his base a test pilot and a very good one. No one ever questioned his courage and willingness to take great personal risk. The second was that Hughes was also an integral part of the Hollywood movie making scene, which made him top notch fodder for the tabloids.

 This is a great movie about one of the most underappreciated visionaries of the twentieth century. It is unfortunate that his great flaws were self-destructive, in the sense that they made it impossible for him to function in society in his last years. Had he remained socially and professionally functional, he may have been the greatest of all time.

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