With 'The Butler' in theaters we look back at some of the genre's messier moments
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2. 'Amelia' (2009)
Overly earnest yet dramatically inert, "Amelia" features perfunctory performances which were clearly aiming for Oscar glory, but came up woefully short. As the ill-fated pioneering aviator, recent double-Oscar winner Hilary Swank seems content to simply look the part without going beneath the surface. Likewise, Mira Nair's glossy film reduces the inherent suspense and drama of Earhart's tragic, mysterious final hours to ham-fisted melodrama rendered in soapy close-up shots full of tearful performances by supporting players Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor. Viewers craving illumination and excitement are better off sticking to Earhart's Wikipedia entry.