Sully – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

September 7, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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The real life event on which this film is based was dubbed Miracle on the Hudson and recreates memorable images of evacuated passengers standing on aircraft wings in the middle of the river.  On January 15, 2009 Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) guided their disabled plane onto the frigid waters of New York’s Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard.  It made world headlines but even as Sully was being hailed by the public and media for his tremendous aviation skills, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and career.

Tom Hanks does a decent bloke very well and completely inhabits the role with suitable gravitas.

Director Clint Eastwood has recreated the events surrounding the “forced water landing”, as Sully insists on calling it, and there is an appreciation of how close the white haired Captain came to handing in his wings.

When the investigation panel insist that simulations show he could have landed safely at La Guardia Airport, Sully stoutly defends his actions in taking the only option to attempt to safely land.  Such is his integrity we believe in him even as he starts to doubt himself.

“Forty four years in the air but in the end I am going to be judged on 208 seconds”   he says.

The hearings run over a few tense days even as he is lauded in the press and the street as a hero – something with which he is not comfortable.   Eastwood has ensured that even if we don’t understand all the technical jargon, we appreciate how Sully and Skiles kept their heads whilst facing disaster.

The water rescue scenes are moving and exciting as ferry boat captains, police, fire and rescue teams pull together taking just 24mins to get every person from the flight to safety.  All Sully cares about is the head count of survivors.

Performances are excellent although Laura Linney as Sully’s wife, Lorraine, is underused as she holds the fort at home against the press invasion.  Don’t leave until after the credits roll because they include a reunion with real life Sully, crew and passengers.

3.5/5  2016  96mins Rated M  Released September 8

Starring Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the book Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow




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