Ray Bennett at the Hollywood Reporter gives the film a rave:
LONDON — Freckle-faced, prairie-voiced and fiercely independent, Hilary Swank’s depiction of aviator Amelia Earhart in Mira Nair’s biographical film “Amelia” is of a high order. It ranks with recent real-life portrayals of Ray Charles by Jamie Foxx and Truman Capote by Philip Seymour Hoffman and could be similarly awards-bound.
Stephanie Carroll’s handsome production design re-creates the 1920s and ’30s vividly, and Stuart Dryburgh’s cinematography captures the wild sensation of being alone high in the sky. Composer Gabriel Yared’s orchestral score — muscular in the aerial scenes, jovial where it needs to be and foreboding in its evocation of Earhart’s fate — ranks with his Academy Award-winning music for “The English Patient.”
The screenplay by Ronald Bass and Anna Hamilton Phelan is based on two books about Earhart — Susan Butler’s “East to the Dawn” and Elgin Long’s “Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved” — and is almost old-fashioned in its linear path. It provides as much information as is needed for those not familiar with the character without expositional clutter while taking time to show the woman’s no-nonsense approach to intimacy as well as the business of flying.