Skip to main content

Film Review: Sully



Film Review: Sully 


Sully, the latest film by Clint Eastwood, stars Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the guy who landed a plane on the Hudson River in January of 2009. The film is about that landing and the subsequent investigation about whether Sully made the right call. While it doesn't quite reach the heights of Eastwood's best work, Sully is a gripping drama about what it means to be good at your job. 


Unsurprisingly given it's first film ever to be shot entirely using IMAX cameras, the visuals are stunning. There is as much detail in shots of conference rooms as in the shots of the water landing. That landing is shown from multiple perspectives and Eastwood creates a sense of urgency each time its shown, despite the audience already knowing the outcome. Two flashbacks to Sully's training as a pilot are incredibly vivid, but feel misplaced within the story. The focus is mainly on Sully himself, although the few short scenes featuring the passengers of the flight invaluably add to the emotion of the film.

The supporting cast is full of strong actors, but none of them are given much to do. Laura Linney spends all of her minutes of screen time as Sully's wife on the phone. She's affecting, but there isn't anything to the role. Just once I wished the scene didn't end right after she had hung up the phone. How is she reacting to all that's going on when she's alone? What do the two daughters think? Aaron Eckhart fares better as first officer Jeff Skiles. His character brings a lightness to the film that contrasts nicely with Hanks' Sully. Skiles is happy that things turned out as well as they did, but Sully still seems troubled. And that's where the conflict lies. 

Whatever doubts Sully may have had about the landing are amplified by him having to defend his actions to the investigators. The script contains some especially corny lines of dialogue uttered by Hanks, which are completely unnecessary because of how good of an actor he is. He doesn't need to say he's worried, we can see it on his face.

Like Eastwood's last film, American Sniper, this one has a protagonist made uncomfortable by hero worship. Sully was just doing his job the best way he knew how, and he doesn't think that makes him a hero. But in a year when most of the movies about heroes are about those of the super variety, it's refreshing this type of hero celebrated on screen. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Best of the Decade: The Top Ten Films of the 2010s

As the 2010s draw to a close, it's time to look back on the best films of the decade.  10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) The 2010s at the movies were defined by the massive success of the superhero genre. For me, the best superhero flick of the decade was Christopher Nolan's trilogy capping  The Dark Knight Rises . The scale was epic and comic book-y, but the human drama was real and powerful. Watching this movie is really fun, but not because they shoehorn in a joke every five minutes to keep the tone light like the factory-made Marvel movies. Also, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle is a really underrated performance. Every minute she's on screen is terrific.  9. Muppets Most Wanted (2014) It's been a decade of real ups-and-downs for the puppet-filled comedy group. It started out strong with a comeback in The Muppets (2011), but the lukewarm box office receipts for the sequel basically killed their viability as a big screen franchise. They tried television again with

"Dallas" Fans Campaign to see the Beloved Show Return

#SaveDallas On Friday, TNT made the decision to cancel "Dallas" after three seasons. Now, obviously, the fans are not going to give up on the Ewings this easily. Already the huge fan base of the soapy reboot have mobilized, collected thousands of signatures, trended #SaveDallas, gotten encouragement from the cast, all in efforts to get another network or platform to pick up "Dallas" for a fourth season. There are no really obvious choices for a cable channel to pick up the show, returning to CBS after twenty years seems even less likely, so the best option is the Internet. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Yahoo! Screen are all amping up on their original programming, shows like "Arrested Development" and "Community" have been successfully revived online, so there's always hope "Dallas" will be next. Things we all can do in the meantime: Sign the Petition to TNT Channel · HELP SAVE DALLAS TNT · C

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see