Where to start? Well, how about the fact that my ass really doesn't like a movie theater seat for over three hours without an intermission. Yes it's long; but fortunately it's also captivating. The biography of Howard Hughes delivered to you by Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Sure to win the best picture trophy next Sunday. Leo is amazing, as he usually is, and the scope and magnitude of the whole picture is refreshing. It was the first really good movie that I've seen since the new year. Cate Blanchet should win for supporting actress as well, for her portrayal of Howard's love interest, Katherine Hepburn. Other stars include Alec Baldwin, Alan Alda, John C. Reilly, Jude Law, Kate Beckinsdale as Ava Gardner and a cameo by Gwen Stefani (of "No Doubt" fame) as Jean Harlowe.

      Not really knowing much about Hughes, I can't really speak for the truth behind the story, but an interesting one it is nonetheless (although I have read that this movie doesn't really atest to who Hughes really was - but hey, what biographical movie does?). A man with virtually endless funding attempting to make literally bigger than life movies, while also running an airline and designing bigger and better aircraft for the military. All under the watchful eye of big brother. And to make it lots more fun, he's slowly growing more and more paranoid and insane.

      Now I would definitely recommend this film to everybody and I really enjoyed it (here comes the "but" monkey), but I think it is really over-rated. It is not the greatest thing I've ever seen as the critics believe, and I don't think it should win best picture. It is certainly not Scorsese's best work, and it is just too damn long! Plus, there's about a 20 minute time frame later in the film that really hurts the pacing, and got me antsy. Apparently that 20 minutes doesn't really capture the depth of Hughes' insanity. I think it did it's purpose in explaining that he was in fact very troubled, but it also slowed the story and detracted from DiCaprio's performance.

      There are two or three spectacular scenes that make it all worthwhile; not to mention the fantastic acting all the way around. An easy to follow, interesting story-line with witty intelligent dialogue, and moments of great tension are all the ingredients to satisfy and entertain me. I think all should see this film, but don't expect perfection.

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