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"AMELIA"
(2009) (Hilary Swank, Richard Gere) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Heavy Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Heavy Heavy Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A female aviator of the 1920s and '30s attempts to set various flying records, including traveling solo across the Atlantic and then around the world.
PLOT:
It's 1928 and a year since Charles Lindbergh has made the first solo flight across the Atlantic. Publisher George Putnam (RICHARD GERE) is working for the owner of an airplane who's given up on doing the same herself, and instead wants another woman to make the flight. George sets his sights on 31-year-old pilot Amelia Earhart (HILARY SWANK), who's made a name for herself in the world of aviation, but he knows he can make her famous with this flight.

The only issue for her is that she'll just be a glorified passenger, with a male pilot and navigator doing the actual work. Nevertheless, she goes along with the plan and indeed becomes the most famous female aviator in the world. As the years pass, however, and with George and Amelia becoming an item and eventually a married couple, she wants to keep pushing the boundaries. That not only includes via various flying feats, but also by having an open marriage where she carries on an affair with West Point flying instructor Gene Vidal (EWAN McGREGOR).

After a failed earlier attempt, Amelia then sets out in 1937 to become the first woman to fly around the world. With the aid of celestial navigator Fred Noonan (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON) who accompanies her on the various legs of the flight, the groundbreaking aviator lifts off in hopes of accomplishing her goal, all while her husband worries from afar and hopes that she'll return to him safely.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in Earhart or flying, and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HILARY SWANK plays the confident aviator who sets out to push the boundaries of flying, particularly for women. In doing so, she sets various records and becomes quite famous, although she appears somewhat uncomfortable with the trappings of that (and in particular doing product endorsements). She ends up marrying her publisher, but informs him that it will be an open marriage, and accordingly has an affair with Gene. She briefly uses profanity.
  • RICHARD GERE plays her publisher turned husband who cares about her and her safety, but isn't above stretching the truth in his promotions and marketing of her in order to make money and increase her fame. He drinks some and is loyal to her, but is jealous of her involvement with Gene.
  • EWAN McGREGOR plays a West Point flying instructor who ends up having a fling with Amelia while working with her on aviation issues and activities. He smokes a few times.
  • CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON plays Amelia's navigator who accompanies her on her attempt to fly around the world. He drinks and apparently has a drinking problem, but is the mostly highly recommended celestial navigator for her attempt.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. Profanity consists of a handful of mild expletives, while a few religious and colorful phrases are also uttered. There's some making out and brief sensuality, with off-screen pre-marital and affair-based sex implied.

    Archival type, black and white footage briefly shows a low altitude plane crash (the pilot appears to be okay), while there are some harrowing, flying-related moments that might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to viewers. Some bad attitudes are present, as is some tense family material, while characters drink (including some intoxication) and smoke in various scenes. Any kids with access to planes might be enticed to try to accomplish their own sorts of flying goals.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from lightning as Amelia flies through a storm.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's bouncy camera footage from inside the planes during various flights, as well as from handheld movie footage shot by Amelia and others.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Amelia's pilot and navigator drink in a bar/pub as do others. Later, when asked if she's serious about taking flight, she replies she's as serious as the pilot is hung-over. She then states that her father was a drunk who let her down her entire life.
  • People have champagne at a party where we see George holding a drink.
  • George has a drink.
  • People have champagne at a reception.
  • George opens a bottle of champagne inside a small plane during flight.
  • People have drinks at a dance club.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a restaurant.
  • Fred wonders if Amelia is sizing him up due to rumors about his drinking problem.
  • George has a drink.
  • Fred has a drink as do others in another country during a stopover, with Amelia telling him to show up sober the next morning.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • George suggests that Amelia take credit for flying across the Atlantic when she's really only going to be a passenger, all to gain publicity for her.
  • Amelia overhears her pilot or navigator laughing about her and her flying abilities.
  • George has Amelia sign a product endorsement deal with Lucky Strikes cigarettes despite her objections and not being a smoker.
  • George not-so-subtly informs a young female pilot that she should allow Amelia to win a flying race, and if she doesn't intend to, her plane probably won't pass the final inspection to be cleared for the race.
  • Amelia cheats on George by having an affair with Gene, but she earlier had him agree that theirs would be an open marriage.
  • While possibly intoxicated, Fred questions Amelia's marriage, focusing on the aspect of affairs.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • George informs Amelia that 3 women have died and 2 have crashed and survived trying to fly across the Atlantic (this establishes the potential danger of her goal).
  • Amelia, her pilot and their navigator are lost, flying through the clouds, with no radio as they cross the Atlantic. They then hit bad turbulence that sends Amelia to the floor hard. The navigator goes to help her, but is bounced against the side door that then opens, with Amelia having to rescue him from falling out. But as she goes to close the door, she then nearly ends up falling out, with the navigator having to pull her back to safety.
  • George reminds Amelia that 14 people trying to copy Lindberg's solo trans Atlantic flight have died. Nevertheless, Amelia goes for that, and eventually ends up flying through a thunderstorm. When she makes it out of that, the windshield quickly freezes over, as do the wings, causing the plane to plummet toward the ocean. Amelia manages to get control in the nick of time and barely avoids hitting the water. After that, she nearly falls asleep while flying, but rouses herself with smelling salts or something similar.
  • While trying to lift off on the next leg of her flight, Amelia realizes there's a problem just as one wheel and landing gear breaks off, followed by the other, resulting in the plane skidding out of control (but Amelia and Fred are okay).
  • The end of the film, where we know something is going to go amiss with Amelia's flight, might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers, as she and Fred are lost, can't hear incoming radio messages trying to help them, can't use his navigation due to overcast skies, and are running out of fuel all while looking for a tiny island out in the middle of nowhere. A point of view camera shot then heads down toward the ocean, but we don't see anything after that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "A stiff ass, sanctimonious prude," "What the hell are they?" "Pop-off" (die), "Vagabond of the air," "Hooey," "That's because you're an idiot," "Hell no" and "Got room for 180 pounds of asshole?"
  • Any kids with access to planes might be enticed to try to accomplish their own sorts of flying goals.
  • We hear (but don't see) that a 16-year-old pilot made a name for herself by flying under bridges.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A bit of suspenseful and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 2 hells and 1 use each of "Dear God," "For Christ's sakes," "G-damn" and "Good God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • George passionately kisses Amelia, and she then kisses him back on the cheek. She later comes to his hotel room, they dance, and then passionately kiss while clothed and standing. The scene ends there, but sex is implied. When they meet a 16-year-old female pilot who arrives the next morning at that room to chat with them, she says she wants him to do for her what he did to Amelia (meaning promotion, but the timing of the comment makes it a sexual joke on the part of the film).
  • We see George shirtless in bed, while Amelia is up, composing a marriage contract issue for him, basically stating she won't hold him to a medieval code of faithfulness or vice-versa.
  • We next see them getting married, followed by them together afterwards, with his hand going up part of her leg to her garter, followed by kissing, but the scene ends there.
  • Gene and Amelia passionately kiss in an elevator, with his hands on her bare back in her dress, and they stop when they get to their floor. The scene ends there, so we don't know if they have sex or not (but it's implied they do later).
  • George spoons behind Amelia on a bed to hug her that way. Both are clothed, and no sexual activity occurs with this.
  • SMOKING
  • Gene smokes at least twice, while various minor and miscellaneous characters smoke (mostly cigarettes, but also a pipe) in many scenes.
  • George has Amelia sign a product endorsement deal with Lucky Strikes cigarettes despite her objections and not being a smoker.
  • Hoping for a private radio conversation with George, Amelia asks the radio operator if he feels like stepping out for a smoke. He states he doesn't smoke, but then gets the hint and leaves.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Amelia states that her father was a drunk who let her down her entire life.
  • George becomes increasingly jealous of Amelia and Gene, especially when he comes to visit with his son and stays at their house. When George asks her to go away with him, she says she can't, prompting him to say it's one thing for Gene to be in their house when he's there, but isn't when he's not.
  • George calls Amelia about a love poem he found that she apparently wrote for Gene, and ends up hanging up on her. That prompts her to call off the affair and business relationship with Gene.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of and/or any artistic liberties taken with the true story.
  • What Earhart managed to accomplish, not only in terms of flying, but doing so as a woman when such things weren't that common.
  • Amelia's desire to have an open marriage with George, and him agreeing to that.
  • Amelia states that her father was a drunk who let her down her entire life.
  • When George proposes to marry Amelia to fulfill her life, she says she's the only person who can do that for herself.
  • Amelia ends up doing a lot of product placement featuring her likeness and/or name (stated as being done to finance her flying).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Amelia, her pilot and their navigator are lost, flying through the clouds, with no radio as they cross the Atlantic. They then hit bad turbulence that sends Amelia to the floor hard.
  • We see archival style, black and white footage of a plane crashing (no explosion or fire), followed by a view of the female pilot being helped from the wreck, seemingly okay.



  • Reviewed October 21, 2009 / Posted October 23, 2009

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