SULLY: An Outstanding Movie!
Congrats to Eastwood and Hanks! The good old times are back. No more Batman meets Superman features that tank within 24 hours. Finally, I was elated to see my first good film from the Academy Awards committee. It was great.
Truthfully, I had been concerned that Hollywood had become moribund. Thanks to this movie, I feel there is some hope for the industry that I love. “Sully” is a biographical drama written by Todd Komarnicki, directed by the indomitable Clint Eastwood, and starring Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart.
The film is based on the autobiography of Captain Charles Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger [with Jeffrey Zaslow]. You may recall “Sully” as the US Air flight Captain who executed an amazing landing on the Hudson River after his plane had been hit by geese which blew out both of his Airbus engines.
What made this film particularly interesting for me was that Sully was being investigated by National Transportation Safety Board; while at the same time, he was being feted as an American hero by both the media and the public. Eastwood does a brilliant job of interspersing dramatic scenes of the Sully’s landing on the Hudson River with the excruciating interrogation Sully had to endure by the NTSB.
Sully realizes that NTSB wants to end his career and sully [sorry for the pun] his reputation as a pilot who could/should have landed at La Guardia or Teterboro [NJ] airfields rather than the Hudson River. The central theme of the film is one that is very appropriate for our computer-driven-society. Is Sully guilty of pilot error? Or, did the NTSB computers not take into account the human factor?
The film also pays homage to the brave and women of the NY police department/first responders who helped rescue and sustain the lives of the 155 passengers who had landed in the icy cold waters of the Hudson. Once again, Tom Hanks should be nominated for the Best Actor of 2016. He demonstrated a “model of controlled, yet powerful emotions” [WSJ].
Also, the 86 year old Clinton Eastwood, should be awarded yet another Oscar [Million Dollar Baby] for this directorial tour de force. For best male supporting actor, I would nominate Aaron Eckhart, who played Sully’s co-pilot, Jeffrey “Jeff” Skiles.
On a more personal note, I had the good fortune to meet Aaron when he and I had both lived in Bozeman, MT many years ago. As I recall, we had met in a coffee shop on Main Street which had served as my office for one of my start-ups in MT. I remember that it was 20 degrees below zero and there was ten feet of snow on the ground.
Aaron has come a long way since his first acclaimed film, “Erin Brockovich” , where he played Julia Robert’s biker-boyfriend. Over the past twenty years, I have seen Aaron mature as an actor through a series of B films where he played as convincing a role as he could, given the limitations of such films. Now, it’s time for him to receive the Oscar.
As expected from an Eastwood film,the rest of the cast including Laura Linney, Anna Gunn [Breaking Bad], and the other male actors were quite good in their respective roles.The end of the film showed the real Sully and most of the 155 passengers who had survived this miraculous landing as one happy, grateful family of heroes/heroines.
Go see the film in order to understand how tenuous our lives really are. Anything can happen at any time during our 24-hour-days, including the improbable onslaught of geese flying high and fast above the NYC skylines– blowing out two Airbus A 320 engines.
The former Secretary of State wrote the following:
“The future comes one day at a time.”