Coming to theaters this Friday from director Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros. Pictures is the true story of an impossible landing all made possibly by “Sully.”
Sully (Tom Hanks) would, within minutes, become the pilot known for saving the lives of 155 people. On January 15th, 2009 the entire world would learn that Captain Chesley Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) would be in the cockpit of an aircraft that would land in the Hudson River.
Although celebrated in public, it would be behind closed doors that the questions by the NTSB were not so kind. When the investigators tell Sully and Skiles that the simulation tests prove they could have returned to the airport safely, Sully begins to question himself.
All of the pressures of the event reach home as wife Lorraine Sullenberger (Laura Linney) fears for what may happen in their future. It also weighs heavily on Sully as more testing comes in affirming that the landing on the Hudson River did not need to happen.
It will take a moment of clarity for this experienced pilot to question what the NTSB believes to be true.
Hanks as Sully has once again proven why he draws in theatre goers. As Sully we see a man with clearly enough experience to be in the sky but in one second that all comes into question. Hanks gives Sully honor, integrity and a mind that eventually discovers the answers to all of his questions. Would it be fair to say that I have been on the Hanks train for quite some time – absolutely! I am a ticket holder from as far back as 1980 when he proudly wore a dress on national television in “Bosom Buddies.”
Eckhart as Skiles has no qualms what so ever supporting Sully and he landing decision. During the questions by the NTSB, it is clear that it was difficult for Skiles to understand why they were not happy about saving every person on the plane. Eckhart’s character knows what he knows and there isn’t an official on the planet that will sway him.
Linney as Lorraine tries to remain strong holding down their home. Feeling the media swallowing up Lorraine’s family would give anyone great stress. Linney’s character is supportive and graceful – even when the thought of losing their home is burrowing under the surface of her calm composure.
Other cast include: Valerie Mahaffrey as Diane Higgins, Delphi Harrington as Lucille Palmer, Mike O’Malley as Charles Porter, Jamey Sheridan as Ben Edwards, Anna Gunn as Elizabeth Davis, Holt McCallany as Mike Cleary and an appearance by Katie Couric.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Sully” four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Director Eastwood has given us all a look inside the flight, the pilots, NTSB and even the media. This harrowing experience, both the flight and after, seriously got my heart racing. It is Hanks who keeps the film and the audience calm and together with a performance that will stand out during awards season as well it should.
The cinematography in this film is amazing and the special effects are pretty darn cool. When it comes to story telling, Eastwood seems to have a fantastic grasp on what people do and don’t want to see. “Sully” is a film that tugs at the strings of New Yorkers to be sure, and there is a line in the film that was like a sledgehammer to the soul regarding planes. I don’t want to repeat it because in the theatre, when it was said, it took the breath from people all round me. That’s the experience I want everyone who sees “Sully” to have.
The combination of Eastwood, Hanks and Eckhart give this story so much depth and emotion in a situation where emotion can hurt an outcome. It is in the final 30 minutes of the film that the entire experience is like listening to a crescendo of a good opera – you don’t realize you’re holding a breath. When you let it go it is an amazing feeling. Well done to all!
In the end — it is the untold story behind the miracle on the Hudson!