Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



This movie pissed me off. The life of Amelia Earhart really cries out for a good movie, but this one just manages to be boring. I know there are problems to be solved, but I don’t think the screenwriter solved any of them. For one thing, there’s the problem that everyone knows exactly how she died. I think the decision to tell the story in flashback as she is on her fateful round-the-world trip was a bad way to deal with that. For another, her life was not really wildly exciting in terms of conflict, so they artificially pumped it up. We spend more time with her boring romantic life than in the air with her. I don’t think they ever really got into her head. Hilary Swank sure looks like Amelia, but she never really made her come alive. I don’t know what the solution might have been—it’s so hard to avoid clichés when making a biopic like this—but I wanted to see her learning to fly, getting her wings, I wanted to feel her elation at breaking free of the ground, and I never really got it. Ironically, there is a minor character here who was actually even more interesting than Amelia, but who never got the press because the reporters were eternally fascinated by Amelia, the first woman to cross the Atlantic. (Her fame came from crossing as a passenger. She later became the first woman to solo across.) This person was Elinor Smith. You want a spunky female flyer, you couldn’t go wrong with Elinor. Just read about some of the things this lady did. She was crazy! What a movie her story would make, and it would all be true.