year: 2004
cast: Leonardo DiCaprio
director: Martin Scorsese
rating: *1/2

The history of this man, Howard Hughes, was open game. We all know he was a kooky guy, but no one knows exactly what he did when he was alone. So Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio could go crazy with it. Urine jars lining a messy room where Howard won't touch anything, having locked himself inside, writhing bloody on the floor watching his own films. Or Hughes snapping off the grid and repeating the same word over and over in front of his employees. Or madly washing his hands with his own soap in public restrooms. None of this stuff fits within any interesting plot. It seems a distraction. And DiCaprio tries hard, but simply doesn't seem like a grownup, much less a famous one. Meanwhile, what the movie's about and why Scorsese worshiped Hughes in the first place was his aerial directorial shots from HELLS ANGELS: scenes so C.G.I. it hardly seems related to anything about when special effects were practical, and brilliant.

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