Rules Don’t Apply

As a summation of Warren Beatty’s career, the film’s title foreshadows that having worked for guys like Arthur Penn and Hal Ashby, he is capable of characterizing a time and place for this bio-pic without stooping into caricature, as the eccentric, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes (Beatty, who also directed and wrote the screenplay) is portrayed as the centrifugal force in both Washington, DC and Hollywood in the 1950s. Under a failing studio system, financed by his aero-dynamic inventions and investments in future scientific breakthroughs, Hughes maintains a stable of young starlets who arrive for their screen test to appear in a Hughes production only to be surrendered to Hughes-employed chauffeurs who cater to their every need but first have to sign “hands off” contracts. Alden Ehrenreich as Frank (a Hughes driver) and Lily Collins (Phil Collins’ daughter) as Marla meet, share religious convictions and soon find their world crumbling with Hughes’ creeping Alzheimer’s. An all-star cast includes: Oliver Platt, Matthew Broderick, Candice Bergen and Alec Baldwin.