I’ve never been a big fan of Martin Scorsese. While I recognize that he’s a visual genius, his films, with the sole exception of GOODFELLAS, almost invariably leave me cold, as if they’re too cerebral, maybe even too subtle. That all changed today with THE AVIATOR, which I saw at a screening. I was simply blown away by it. THE AVIATOR is one of those movies where there’s a perfect convergence of talent, from the director to the script, the cast, the acting, the cinematography, and every department you can think of. I’m a convert. Of course, that may be because THE AVIATOR is, in a sense, not a typical Martin Scorsese picture. At least it’s not the kind of film I would expect from him. It is, for sure, the kind of big-scale spectacle that Hollywood does best and, in his hands, it’s brought to life with passion but also with amazing ease. If he doesn’t get his Oscar for this – in fact, if this picture doesn’t get a bunch of Oscars – they should close the Academy. I almost always find Scorsese’s movies too long but, at 168 minutes, this movie is just right. The script is dark where it needs to be, but it’s also light and witty, and moves like a breeze. In many ways I didn't really want it to end. One of my biggest concerns going in was the casting. I had seen pictures of Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale as Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner and thought, “Uh-uh, they don’t look anything like the originals.” It turns out, Blanchett gets some of the best lines in the movie and she’s so enthralling, I didn’t care that she looked like Cate Blanchett. And Beckinsale, while nowhere near the female Gardner was, looks ravishing and completely captures the idea of who Gardner was. But there’s so much more to this movie than this, and you gotta see it for yourself. Personally, I’ll be the first in line to see it again when it opens.