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

"Death on the Nile" Hits Theaters in 2019: Here's my Dream Cast

Following the success of Kenneth Branagh's film of Murder on the Orient Express, it was announced that a follow-up would be released on December 20, 2019. This time Branagh will direct and star in an adaptation of Christie's 1937 novel Death on the Nile. I loved that novel when I read it many years ago, and although I'd prefer to see Branagh adapt a Poirot novel that has not already gotten the big-screen treatment (like Death in the Clouds or Cards on the Table), I am looking forward to seeing a new interpretation. It's about a murder that occurs on a luxury steamer that is traveling down the Nile River in Egypt. Naturally, all the passengers are suspects. Since no casting information aside from Branagh has been announced, I thought I'd share some of my dream casting choices. 

For the role of Simon Doyle - Dan Stevens The former Dowton Abbey star is no stranger to period pieces and would be perfect fit for Simon Doyle, the new husband of Linnet Ridgeway and ex-finace…

"A Simple Favor" is an Offbeat Little Thriller that Adeptly Wields the Talents of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively: Review

Film Review: A Simple Favor There's a sub-genre that Hollywood has brought back in the aftermath of the massive success of David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl a few years back; the domestic thriller, usually based on a best-selling novel and usually starring a woman. Other entrants in the genre include The Girl on the Train, the upcoming The Woman in the Window, and Paul Feig's new movie A Simple Favor. I am a huge proponent of the domestic thriller, as I love twisty and often fun mysteries that also have room for some social satire. With a script by Jessica Sharzer adapted from the Darcey Bell novel, A Simple Favor offers up everything I love about the genre in exciting and unexpected new ways. 
The movie stars Blake Lively as a gorgeous, sophisticated, and deeply unhappy mother who befriends a put-together mommy vlogger (Anna Kendrick), who plays detective when Lively's character suddenly disappears.Although it shares many similarities with Gone Girl,A Simple Favo…

Oscars: My Response to the Newly Announced Academy Award Changes

The Oscars are losing relevance or so says the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which announced Wednesday a batch of changes to its annual telecast. The changes, designed to reverse a ratings dip in recent years, are the kind of desperate attempt to stay relevant that threatens the integrity of the whole affair. 

The first change, consistent with the Academy's desire to create a three-hour telecast, is that some awards will be presented during commercial breaks, with edited (meaning condensed) versions of the acceptance speeches airing later in the broadcast. It has not been determined which categories will be bumped, but I'll tell you right now it ain't gonna be Best Actress. The categories where celebrities are nominated will be shown live, and the tech categories won't be. This move is flat-out disrespectful to the men and women nominated in the below-the-line categories who deserve recognition for their vital contributions to movies. The Tony Awards fo…