This is an incredible look at the later life of Howard Hughes. Warren Beatty portrays Hughes, and gives himself a big task in portraying someone with phobia to germs, and self isolation, worrying about being subjected to psychiatric evaluation and a conservator appointed to steal his company. Alden Ehrenreich portrays the driver, Frank Forbes who rises up in the Hughes empire to his closest confidant. And then their is the actress, Marla Mabrey, for whom he falls portrayed by Lily Collins. There are other famous actors who portray people around Hughes, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick and Martin Sheen. They cow tail to Hughes' whim, such as banana nut ice cream, and if they cross him they get fired. They only person who calls out Hughes is Mabrey's mother portrayed by Annette Benning. She leaves and her daughter stays. Marla Mabrey is a woman who is determined to not have sex until after marriage, and does not drink. However she becomes upset one night she is meeting Hughes, and drinks too much and becomes drunk. In this mood, she flatter Hughes, who takes a ring from a drawer (among several) and puts in on her finger saying with this ring, I thee wed. They then have sex. She becomes pregnant. The next day, following sex, Hughes officially marries someone else. t have a wife who will not let him be committed to an insane asylum. Hughes does not take responsibility for the child, and Mabrey discovers Hughes' real nature and goes home. She advises Forbes to do the same, but Forbes stays on. It isn't until five years later. when Mabrey brings her son to see Hughes, that Forbes finally makes the jump to gain his freedom from Hughes.
This movie has an interesting theme. To what lengths will we go for success, to leach off of someone who is rich and famous. It is an interesting dilemma. Hughes has very strict rules, and often objectifies the women around him, as well as humiliates the men. But for the most part they stay. It takes a lot to quit, even when the situation is bad, as the thought of money can overcome many wrongs.
Lily Collins must be complimented for her work in this film. She is really a fantastic presence on screen. There is a period after she leaves that the movie drags and I think it is the lack of the energy between she and Ehrenreich. When she finally comes back, the movie regains its energy for the end.
This movie is a long-term project from Beatty. He also wrote the screenplay and directed and produced.
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