How can one not be moved by the intimations of loyalty and compassion being shown on behalf of Martin Scorsese and his latest film, The Aviator, by admiring smart- guy critics like Emanuel Levy and Variety‘s Todd McCarthy, among others? But even in the expressions of respect and enthusiasm for a great director, limits should be observed. Levy cannot proclaim on the front page of Movie City News that this biopic about the young to middle-aged Howard Hughes is “extremely entertaining” and not expect others (me, for instance) to slap their heads in disbelief. Offer, if you must, the flimsy argument that The Aviator is some kind of Oscar-worthy Scorsese package (it isn’t, trust me, unless people get it in their heads to nominate it as an acknowledgement of Scorsese’s career, and the fact that the Academy has never given him the prize), but Levy declaring it’s a sure thing that Scorsese will be handed his fifth Best Director nomination for The Aviator seems delusional to me. Likewise, his asking “how high will The Aviator fly with the Academy voters” is nutso. Trust me — this very long-running film is, quite often, a form of psychological torture.