When it comes to biopics, the audience is always teetering on a fine line between learning the facts and being entertained. Usually, by their inherent nature of being fact-based stories, biographical adaptations can succumb to this and either tell a very informative story or completely ignore the history and present a dazzling piece of entertainment. Very rarely does a movie come along where you get a balanced dose of both history and "popcorn" value. Sadly, Amelia isn't one of those rare exceptions.
Although the life of Amelia Earhart (especially the events leading up to her death--or disappearance) is widely regarded, it has never been fully or richly adapted to the screen the way the current Mira Nair-directed film attempts to do. Unfortunately, the movie suffers from having an A-list actress filling some very big shoes--and doing a fine job at it. But the movie really offers no other novelty than the fact that it's being made about 70 years after the events have transpired.
Sure, the movie is visually stunning and a joy to watch because of its attention to detail; the period clothes, mannerisms and the archival footage used. But the movie really doesn't present anything new or that you didn't already learn in your fourth-grade history class. It simply wraps up the Earhart drama into a tidy little box and puts a big pretty bow on it.
Since most people already know the outcome of this film, it would have been nice if there had been more of a conflict presented in the film. Perhaps more of the terrifying final dialogue between Earhart's lost plane and flight command on the ground where she was to have landed. Instead, we are dealt a melodramatic love-triangle plot between Earhart, her husband and her flight consultant which was really not an interesting way to pass the time between watching Amelia fli high.
Overall, the movie was not atrocious (as some of the critics have proclaimed.) The movie is quiant, well-produced and very appealing to those who consider themselves aficionados to Earhart's cause or of aviation in general. But what should have been an epic tale of adventure and high-flying emotions, instead, treads familiar water and flies the turbulent skies of familiarity because of its conventional point-of-view and predictable romantic skew.