The Aviator is a grand and unique combination of glamour, adventure, intrigue, spectacle, humor, tragedy, and melodrama. It's about big, famous people doing things that we expect big, famous people to do. And it uses all the power that modern filmmaking technology has to offer. But its focus, ultimately, is on people and the things they do. The fact that the people inhabit (and helped create) the world of today is a definite plus, and Scorsese makes the most of this.