The Aviator’ takes off with eleven Oscar nods

The film has been nominated for best picture, best directing, best actor, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best original screenplay, achievement in art direction,

achievement in cinematography, achievement in costume design, best film editing and achievement in sound mixing:

Dubby Bhagat


The Aviator’ is not about the American Dream it is about an American visionary who dominated the American scene by starting an airline, conquering Hollywood, romancing the most famous actresses of his day and then tragically dying a demented recluse, haunted by a terror of germs, a paranoia whose billions couldn’t help.

Acted by Leanardo DiCaprio, Howard Hughes comes to life as the Golden Boy of the 20’s and 30’s a man who DiCaprio was fascinated by and hired Micheal Mann to do a movie about. When Mann walked off the film Leaonardo DiCaprio made a deal with one of the most famous directors of our times, Martin Scorsese to do the film.

But it was always DiCaprio who was the driving force behind the film which is now available in town and Uttam at Suwal rushed me a copy the minute it landed. ‘The Aviator’ is a big sprawling epic that is as spectacular as Howard Hughes’ life and many time more colourful.

Said critic Jeff Shannon,…… Scorses’ meticulous attention to art direction and costume design suggests an impassioned pursuit of craftsmanship from a bygone era; every frame seems to glow with gilded detail. And while DiCaprio bears little physical resemblance to Hughes from the film’s 20 year period, he efficiently captures the eccentric millionaire’s golden-boy essence, and his tragic descent into obsessive-compulsive seclusion.

The word ‘compulsive’ sums up the way DiCaprio portrays Howard Hughes who took years to film Hells Angels, (a war film which is said to be Scorsese favorite) and who was determined to make the largest plane, to create an airline and to woo as many actresses as he could. DiCaprio deserves his Best Actor nomination for deftly acting as a sometimes brilliant sometimes demented Howard Hughes. Little touches like a door knob suddenly becoming sinister, food looking evil while DiCaprio reacts to contain his fear, are worthy of earning the actor great accolades. But then Leonardo DiCaprio was obsessed by Howard Hughes he said… It was almost like Greek tragedy that was waiting to be put up on screen. To find a man who was almost like a test case. Give a man everything in the world — Howard Hughes, America’s first billionnaire, the Casanova of his time, aviation hero, movie mogul — and to (have him) ultimately go mad because of microscopic germs just makes for one of the most multidimensional, complex characters I’ve ever come across.

Despite great films such as ‘Mean Streets’, ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘GoodFellas’ Scorsese has not won an Oscar. He said, …They don’t give them out lightly, Alfred Hitchcock did not win one.ÚÚ Says Oscars expert John Harkness… Maybe Martin Scorsese shouldn’t make movies in decade-starting years. In 1980, he made Raging Bull, got nominated as Best Director, and lost to a movie by an actor-turned-director making his first film, Robert Redford. In 1990, he made GoodFellas, was nominated as Best Director, and …lost to Kevin Costner, whose debut won seven Oscars.” But with ‘The Aviator’, Scorsese is on territory he loves; the cinema, its history its magic its world, so he might strike gold this time.

Cate Blanchett is an extraordinary Katherine Hepburn and her Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress is more than well deserved. She said that Scorsese had told her to “…go as far as you want to be like her without prosthetics or cosmetic surgery. But my job isn’t to be a mimic — it is to capture the spirit of the woman. Hepburn was the great love in Howard Hughes’ life and my favourite scene in the picture is the one in which DiCaprio tries to stop her being blackmailed.”

Hughes’ other love is played by Kate Beckinsale whose role as Ava Gardner is phenomenal according to DiCaprio. Of Hughes she said, “He carried an engagement ring around his pocket. That tells you a lot about a person. He had a lot of relationships with various people and was quite attracted to movie stars. And he was prone to grand gestures and very romantic and had a lot of money, so I don’t think there was any shortage.”

Art director, Dante Ferretti was asked to recreate Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1934 and he did. Said DiCaprio, “…it would have been more expensive to have closed down Hollywood Boulevard for two days than it was to rebuild the entire set.”

Ferretti also recreated the famous night club The Coconut Grove which was Hughes base of operations in Hollywood. DiCaprio and Scorsese saw it as a time machine to take people through different time periods.

‘The Aviator’ has some fabulous aerial sequences a horrifying, realistic, mind-blowing air crash and some truly great scenes between Hughes and a corrupt Senator. There’s drama, action and adventure in this picture but Hughes life also shows that human ambition and achievement doesn’t always breed happiness. The supporting cast includes Jude Law and Alec Alda who won a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as a suave and debonair figure who keeps cropping up in Hughes life.

One critic summed it up best by saying, “The Aviator is easily Scorses’s most accessible film, inviting mainstream popularity without compromising Scorsese’s artistic reputation. As compelling crowd-pleasers go, it’s a class act from start to finish.”

Maureen Leidy:

Thanks to the computer, people are now only a mouse click away. The innovation of email and digital photographs has made it possible for families to stay in touch; however, is this really enough? While technology has enabled us to talk to people all over the world, in some ways it is hampering us from intimate contact, especially with our families. Keeping your family close must start when you children are very young. If you instill in them at an early age the importance of family, chances are your message will stick with them when they become adults.

An important way to ensure family closeness is by creating special family traditions. Try playing something as simple as Bingo, where everyone will get a prize — and here’s the real treat — make the prizes “coupons”. For instance, “This coupon good for one free movie with mom” or “This coupon good for one indoor picnic.” You will be surprised how your children will come to treasure these special family times.

Of course, as your children grow, marry and have children of their own, it is not as easy to spend each holiday together. Be flexible and either alternate holidays or pick a few specific holidays where the entire family will be together. Sometimes this sounds like an overwhelming feat, especially if you have a large family, but as I said, children, even when they become adults, need those special occasions and traditions and they will go out of their way to make sure they happen. Many families that have grown and multiplied considerably but are scattered across the globe make it a point to hold a family reunion each year. This is a great opportunity for cousins to get to meet one another, sisters to catch up on gossip and mothers to sit back and enjoy their children and grandchildren.

Another basic premise for keeping your family close is raising them in such a way that they like each other. By this I mean treat your children equally as they are growing; do not favour one over the other as this will lead to jealousy and resentment and will probably continue into adulthood. Foster closeness among your children, praising them equally for their own accomplishments without comparing them to each other. As your children reach adulthood, become more of a friend than a parent. By this I mean, don’t make them feel guilty when they do not call or visit you on a daily basis. This will only lead to a relationship based on obligation rather than anticipation. When careers and circumstances dictate moving away, you can still remain close. As I stated at the beginning of this article, the Internet has enabled us to reach out to others to ways that were never before possible. For the “computer nerd” in the family, have them set up a family website where each of you can “meet”. Set up an Internet chess game or game room where once a week or once a month you all get together to play a game.

While modern technology will never replace the warmth of a mother’s hug or the pat on the back from your father, keeping close is possible. When a family is built on love, respect and devotion, they will always find a way to be close — if not in body, then in spirit.

How to look your bridal best:

You’re going to want to look beautiful, so take into consideration if your wedding is scheduled for a day or night event. If your wedding takes place in the daytime hours, your make up should look natural. When the night falls and the party begins, touch up your make up with darker shades if you like.

Consider having your make-up done by a professional. Schedule a trial run. Exfoliate your skin and follow up with a toner. Your foundation should blend in with your skin tone. Blend it into your neck to avoid embarrassing lines. Neutral tones are the best for daytime. Use an eyelash curler to make your lashes appear longer. Waterproof mascara and eyeliner is a must! Brown/black will flatter both blondes and brunettes. To prevent clumping, don’t use old mascara. Avoid a shiny face. Powder your face with loose translucent powder after you apply your foundation. Take along pressed powder for touch ups. This is especially important for your wedding photographs. Stay away from crème eye shadow. You need some staying power, so stick with powder. Apply lip liner under matte lipstick. Keep your foundation light to avoid any streaking and check it outdoors or in bright light when you’re finished.