2 stars, (PG)
Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby) plays Amelia Earhart in Amelia, a tired, trite film by director Mira Nair (Vanity Fair) that flatly chronicles events in Earhart's life, just barely making a story out of it. Swank seems very excited in the role, as if she's playing someone outrageous and different. But the film doesn't give us a chance to see an eccentric side to Ms. Earhart. Richard Gere gives a useless and sometimes unintentionally funny performance as husband George Putnam, who does whatever the story says he should do at that particular time, and never once makes it feel natural. The film is presented as sort of a series of vignettes separated by the old newspaper headline cliche, which tells us of the passage from plot point A to plot point B. As a biographical work, Amelia looks more like a book report by a high school student. As a film, it looks like a rushed TV movie with a big-budget cast.