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Amelia movie poster

Amelia: Movie Review

Genre:  Biography, Drama
Rated: PG
Directed by: Mira Nair
Starring: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Joe Anderson
Released by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

In Short: Hilary Swank shines in this period biopic of famed flier Amelia Earhart, and so do the clothes!

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Females Taking Flight
A Journey of Discovery

Perhaps the most famous female flier ever (sorry, Sally Ride), Amelia Earhart was certainly one of the biggest celebrities of the mid-twentieth century. That little-known fact, that she had her own luggage and clothing lines, promoted everything from cigarettes to home appliances, and worked the lecture circuit like a pro, and much more is revealed in the new biopic Amelia.

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank takes on the role of the iconic aviatrix, complete with cropped haircut, men's trousers, and clipped accent, and proves up to the task of bringing Amelia to life. Following her beginnings as a Kansas girl fascinated by flying right up to her untimely demise as she attempted to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe, Swank is always believable as the woman who intentionally broke long-held stereotypes and proved that women were as capable as men of flying aircraft. And of running their own lives, too.

Hilary Swank and Joe Anderson in Amelia Hilary Swank in Amelia

Director Mira Nair infuses her film with beautiful images of Amelia's favorite place, the sky; and her down-to-earth sequences are visually wonderful as well, as she evokes the 1920's and 1930's with gorgeous clothes, cars, and interiors. Adding in Richard Gere as Amelia's promoter and husband and Ewan McGregor as her partner in flying and passionate lover certainly helps with the eye candy, too.

But the real center of the film is Nair's focus on Amelia Earhart's singular determination to be the person she wanted to be, regardless of public opinion or private emotions. Presenting Earhart as a woman who followed her dreams, in a time when females had just been granted the right to vote, makes us remember that she was a revolutionary force in shattering stereotypes that is still so integral to women's rights. That makes Amelia a film that every woman should see, as a reminder to go after your dreams no matter whether society's mores dictate something different.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

PAR100209 Updated: (10/22/09 AR)

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