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Gere and Swank light up the screen in ‘Amelia’

Donna Maranto

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Starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, “Amelia” is a highly romanticized depiction of Amelia Earhart — the famous aviatrix who captivated the world in the 1930s with abilities to take to the skies in a very new and not-so-female occupation at the time- has hit the cinema.

The director, Mira Nair has portrayed a delicate woman who captivated the world with charm and a modicum of dignity, but not with the prowess that allowed success. Here, Amelia is a poet, lover, model, entrepreneur, aggrandizer of fame and publicity; there is little represented to advance any proof that her skills earned her fame.

The film is quietly taken with the serendipity in the rather stark similarity of Hilary Swank to Amelia Earhart. This alone sells the movie. While the biography of a worthy individual in the historical arena is seriously under-played, the charm and talent of Swank and Gere captivate us.

After reading some of the books published in her regards, it seemed almost amusing that GP (George Palmer Putman) was portrayed as a forgiving and dutiful lover, condescending to her often flirtations with other men.

Why was there no mention of his wife? OR no mention of the divorce, which freed him to ask Amelia to marry him? Amelia, according to Fred Goerner, the journalist who made extensive (and I mean extensive) investigations into her life and disappearance, states that her letters indicate that her involvement with him was business, the relationship coming only after his divorce.

The technical endeavors, while offering the big “plus” to moviegoers (really taking to the skies and avoiding all graphic arts as input) are not enough to bring this movie to the heights that were possible.

All the pleasant aspects of the cinematography seemed stretched across the screen to pacify an audience into accepting the relationships sans social tension that her world actually was caught up in at that time. No mention was made that she came close to becoming a doctor, or of her nursing occupations.

There has never been a lengthier search conducted in American history for a lost adventurer. Even the Navy became involved extensively in the search for Amelia Earhart. Yet, nothing was mentioned of the theories that sparked these searches.
We are left with the resolve that would be thrust on a third grade grammar school class to avoid any conflict that might actually be true to the case. This truly is a “window box” version of the life of a courageous and unforgettable woman who impacted the American vista.

Donna Maranto is a City Time Contributor

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Gere and Swank light up the screen in ‘Amelia’