Biopics are imperfect. They are all fiction of a sort out of necessity. They have to invent conversations and sometimes even characters and events to make a person’s life cinematic. The best of them capture the spirit of the person and inspire you to learn more about them. Amelia Earhart is unquestionably one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century. However, after watching her biopic, I have to conclude that either this film is a massive load of boring nonsense, or there was nothing interesting about Earhart whatsoever.
Hillary Swank, though not a favorite mine, is a talented actress and seems perfect for the role, but is given nothing to do. The entire movie is Amelia at celebrations stating how women can do anything men can do intermixed with shots of planes flying majestically while Swank reads flight poetry. That’s 70% of the movie. No effort to explore Earhart’s motivations, personality, or spirit are made. What made this woman tick? Why was she so driven to do what no woman ever had before? That’s interesting. Turning her into some kind of feminist PR machine is not interesting. This biopic has an additional problem which is-there’s no end. No one will ever know what happened to Amelia Earhart. Too much time has passed. So if you’re going to succeed at making a biopic of someone whose end is uncertain, you have to go into that final flight already in love with them, or at least so invested in their success that when she disappears it should hit you like a hammer blow. The movie completely fails to do that and fails the aviatrix it aims to honor. Not worth even a rental.