Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney
Flying is probably one of the most frightening things you can do. It feels completely unnatural, so no wonder there are plenty of people (myself included) who fear going on planes. It’s just a shame that you have to take them in order to get to incredible places around the world. So watching a movie all about a plane crash is hard for me, however, all is fine when you have Clint Eastwood in the control tower and Tom Hanks as your captain.
Sully follows the story of the real life pilot, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks), and how he and his co-pilot, Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), managed to successfully land their aircraft on the Hudson river in New York. Eastwood’s film does go over the incident itself in detail, however Sully is really about the investigation that happened afterwards.
Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.
There’s nothing quite like a plane crash to really get your blood pumping, and Sully’s incredible story is just as terrifying as it is uplifting. Some may say that Sully isn’t the most visually arresting or original film ever made, and they’d be right. However, Clint Eastwood is an incredible storyteller, and Captain Sullenberger’s is a story worth telling. Eastwood’s at his very best when he’s working with brilliant source material, and Todd Komarnicki’s script is exactly that.
Tom Hanks is very much at the centre of this movie, and he is spell-binding as the lead character. He doesn’t really look much like the real-life Captain Chesley Sullenberger, but after watching this movie you can’t really think of anybody else in the role. He’s perfectly restrained, which is something of a rarity in cinema today. He’s just playing a human being who’s very good at his job, who also happens to be a true hero and is suffering from PTSD after the crash. I would be very surprised if Hanks doesn’t get nominated for an Academy Award this February. He’d be one of the frontrunners to win Best Actor in my book.
This is the captain. Brace for impact.
It’s also a great pleasure to see Aaron Eckhart performing well again. Even though Jeffrey Skiles wasn’t the one who performed the incredible feat of landing a great big plane full of passengers on the water (something which basically never happens), he had his part to play. Eckhart could have very well hidden behind that moustache of his, but he didn’t. He works well with Hanks and delivers a fine performance.
Sully is a very well-made film about an incredible real-life story, which is what Eastwood seems to be specialising in at the moment, but that doesn’t matter since he’s very good at making them. This sort of movie could have ended up being somewhat televisual, however with Eastwood’s direction, and Hanks’ perfect performance, Sully is elevated to an Oscar contender. The only downside to the movie is that it does come off as feeling a little bit like ‘Oscar fodder’, which isn’t in it’s favour since the film is genuinely gripping from start to finish.