The Aviator is a 2004 American epic biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by John Logan. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn and Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner. The supporting cast features Ian Holm, John C. Reilly, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law as Errol Flynn, Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow, Kelli Garner as Faith Domergue, Willem Dafoe, Alan Alda, and Edward Herrmann.
Based on the 1993 non-fiction book Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham, the film depicts the life of Howard Hughes, an aviation pioneer and director of Hell's Angels. The film portrays his life from 1927–1947 during which time Hughes became a successful film producer and an aviation magnate while simultaneously growing more unstable due to severe obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD).
The Aviator was released in the United States on December 25, 2004. The film grossed $214 million at the box office. It was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role for DiCaprio, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Alda, winning five for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Cate Blanchett.